Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ohio court again protects personal information

"The Ohio Supreme Court is continuing a trend of rulings that declare personal information in government records as exempt from release under the state's public records laws.

In a 5-2 ruling released today, the justices upheld an appellate court ruling that a Cleveland lawyer was entitled to receive parent-completed questionnaires concerning the possible lead poisoning of children living in public housing. However, the Supreme Court reversed the appeals court in ruling that names, dates of birth and other personal identifying information should be redacted.

The personal information is not a public record because it does not “document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures or operations” of the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority, the justices found. However, the court found that the addresses on the forms should be released since they document the housing authority's function."

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