NOTICE – PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY OF THE CLERMONT COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
Our Public Record Policy guides us in properly handling public records requests. It also lets the public know how we can help them access Office records they are entitled to by law. The policy summarized below appears in full on the Clermont County Prosecutor’s website – www.clermontprosecutor.org – and in the Policies & Procedures Manual of the Prosecutor.
Defining and Organizing Public Records
All records that document the work of the Clermont County Prosecutor’s Office are public unless they are exempt from disclosure by law. All public records must be organized and maintained so they can be made available in response to public records requests. This applies to all public records, whether they exist on paper, electronically (e.g., business e-mail correspondence), or on any other media.
Public Access to Records
Public Records are available for inspection during regular business hours, with the exception of published holidays. Records must be provided promptly for inspection and copies must be made available within a reasonable period of time.
Processing Public Records Requests
Requesters do not have to provide their identity or indicate the purpose for the requested information.
All requests for public records must either be satisfied or if they cannot be satisfied within a reasonable time following the request, they must be acknowledged in writing provided the requester has provided sufficient information for the office to communicate with the requester.
A requester may use the Prosecutor’s Office Public Records Request form to request public records. This form may be obtained directly from the Prosecutor’s Office or on the Clermont County Prosecutor’s website identified above. No specific language is required to make a request for public records however, the requester must at least identify the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow the office to identify, retrieve, and review the records. If it is not clear what records are being sought, a Prosecutor’s Office employee will contact the requester, if contact information is provided, to request clarification and assist in refining the request by explaining how the office’s records are organized and kept.
Electronic records are to be treated in the same manner as records in other formats. Communications, such as text messages, instant messages, and emails may be public records if their content documents the business of the Prosecutor’s Office. Records in private e-mail accounts used to conduct public business are subject to disclosure, and all employees or representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office are required to copy their e-mails that relate to public business to their business email accounts and retain them in accordance with applicable records retention schedules.
Denying or Redacting Public Records
Any denial of public records requested must be in writing if the original request was in writing and must include an explanation of legal authority. Redactions must be made plainly visible by using some obvious marking.
Copying, Electronic Media and Mailing Charges
Those seeking public records may be charged only the actual cost of materials used, not labor. The charge for paper copies is five (5) cents per page. The charge for electronic files downloaded to a compact disc is fifty (50) cents per disc. The charge for electronic files downloaded to a DVD is one dollar ($1.00) per disc. The charge for other media (flash drives, etc.) will be the actual cost of the media on which the records are provided. If a requester requests documents be delivered to them, he or she may be charged the actual costs of the postage and mailing supplies, or other actual costs of deliver. There is no charge for emailed documents.
A requester may choose to receive copies either on paper, on the same medium in which the requested records are kept, or on any other medium on which the office determines that the record can be reasonably duplicated as an integral part of the office’s normal operations.
Public Records Request Form
The Public Records Request Form is available online here. You may print it out and mail, email, or fax it to the Civil Division of the Prosecutor’s Office.
You may also submit an online public records request by completing the form here.