Details on citizens' rights to public records in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The law says public records belong to all Ohioans. Here are some details on the public's rights to those records:

Asking to inspect records in person should provide quicker access, without cost.

The government can't charge for records, other than minimal copying costs, such as 5 cents a page or a dollar for a CD.

If a request is denied, an explanation must be provided in writing. If a request is considered too broad, officials are required to work with a citizen to help narrow the request and obtain records.

Ohio is among a handful of states that set no deadline for government to provide records. The legal standard says response must be prompt. Court rulings have signaled that waits of more than two weeks likely are unreasonable.

The public-records mediation program of the attorney general's office can help if a request is denied or response is slow.

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