Noble County Sheriff's Office Public Records Policy

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Noble County Sheriff's Office Public Records Policy

Introduction

Openness leads to a better informed citizenry, which leads to better government and better public policy.
Consistent with the premise that government at all levels exists first and foremost to serve the interests of the people,
it is the mission and intent of the Noble County Sheriff's Office to at all times fully comply with and abide by both the spirit
and the letter of Ohio's Public Records Act.


Definition of Public Records

All records kept by the Noble County Sheriff's Office are public unless they are exempt from
disclosure under Ohio law. A record is defined to include the following: A document in any format-
paper, electronic (including but not limited to , business e-mail) - that is created, recevied by, or comes
under the jurisdiction of the Noble County Sheriff's Office that documents the organization, functions,
policies, decisions, procedures, operations of other activities of the office.

Hours and Costs


Public records are available for inspection promptly between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday
through Fridaywith the exception of government holidays.

Copies of public records must be made available within a reasonable period of time. "prompt" and
"reasonable" take into account the volume of records requested; the proximity of the location where the
records are stored; and the necessity for any legal review and redaction of the records requested. Those
seeking public records may be charged only the actual cost of making copies, not labor. The charge for
coipes (any amount) is $3. The charge for electronic files downloaded to a compact disc is $5 per disc.

A requestor may be required to pay in advance for costs involved in providing the copy. The requestor
may choose whether to have the record duplicated upon paper, upon the same medium in which the public record is kept,
or upon any other medium on which the office determines that the record can
reasonably be duplicated as an integral part of the office's normal operations.

If a requestor asks that the documents be mailed, he or she will be charged the actual costs of the postage and mailing supplies.
There is no charge for documents e-mailed.



Handling Requests

When you make a request, we will ask you to complete a "Public Records Request Form," which will
help us locate the records and expedite your request. The form will ask for your request, the requester's
identity, and or the intended use of the information requested, but only (1) if a written request or
disclosure of identity or intended use would benefit the requester by enhancing the office's ability to
identify, locate, or deliver the public records that have been requested; and (2) after telling the requester
that a written request is not requred and that the requester may decline to reveal the requester's identity
or intended use.

In processing a request, the office does not have an obligation to create new records or perform new
analysis of existing information. An electronic record is deemed to exist so long as a computer is
already programmed to produce the record through simple sorting, filtering, or querying.
In processing a request for inspection of a public record, an office employee must accompany the
requester during inspection to make certain original records are not taken or altered.


Denial or Redaction of Records


If the requester makes an ambiguous or overly broad request or has difficulty in making a request for
public records, the request may be denied, but the denial must provide the requester an opportunity to
revise the request by informaing the requester of the manner in which records are maintained and
accessed by the office.


Any denial of public records requested must include an explanation, including legal authority. If the
initial request was made in writing, the explanation must also be in writing. If portions of a record are
exempt, the exempt portions may be redacted and the rest released. When making public records
available for public inspection or copying, the office shall notify the requester of any redaction or make
the redaction plainly visible. If there are redactions, each redaction must be accompanied by a
supporting explanation, including legal authority.


A copy of the most recent edition of the Ohio Sunshine Laws manual is available via the
Ohio Attorney General's Internet Website
for the purpose of keeping employees of the office
and the public educated as to the office's obligations under the Ohio Public Records
Act, Open Meetings Act, records retention laws and Personal Information Systems Act.