Open Government

State ex rel. Bardwell v. Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners


On November 5, 2009, the ACLU of Ohio announced it would provide legal representation to community activist Brian Bardwell. Bardwell previously requested records detailing the Medical Mart project in Cuyahoga County. When part of his request was denied, Bardwell filed suit, representing himself.

The Eighth District Court of Appeals chastised Bardwell for filing too many lawsuits to enforce public records requests, even though the law contains no limit. The court fined him $1,000 for filing the lawsuit and warned they might bar him from filing future lawsuits. The ACLU of Ohio has appealed his case to the Ohio Supreme Court.

On October 26, 2010 the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision on the groups that there was not enough evidence to show it abused its discretion. Read the ACLU’s press release on the case and the Court’s decision here.