Professor Joseph Mead sought public records from the City of Dayton concerning its regulations on panhandling. Professor Mead is also a volunteer attorney who has served as co-counsel with us on several recent cases and is working with us on potential challenges to panhandling ordinances across the state.
To obtain these records, Professor Mead emailed a letter containing sixteen requests to the City of Dayton on October 27, 2015. After waiting a month and not receiving any response from the city, Professor Mead then re-sent the requests by both certified mail and email on November 25, 2015. The city never responded.
The Ohio Public Records Act requires government agencies to respond within a reasonable period of time to requests for copies of public records. The City of Dayton violated Ohio’s public records laws by failing to comply with or object to Professor Mead’s requests.
On January 21, 2016, we filed a lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court. Our Complaint seeks a Writ of Mandamus compelling the City of Dayton to provide the public records that Professor Mead requested. Shortly after we filed the Complaint, the City provided Professor Mead with the records he requested and agreed to pay statutory damages of $500. Professor Mead received the $500, and the case was dismissed on February 22, 2016.