PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY
Notice: December 1, 2013
We are an open government. We welcome informed participation from our citizens. We believe openness leads to a better-informed public, which leads to more transparent government and better public policy. Citizens are entitled to access government records and the Public Records Act should be interpreted liberally in favor of disclosure.
Hours and Costs
You may make public records requests in the Columbiana County recorder’s office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, excluding government holidays.
While it has been established by law that the cost for copies of most public records shall be set at the amount deemed to be the actual cost of making paper copies, the recorder’s office must conform to Ohio statute, which clearly outlines the amount a recorder should charge for copies of recorded documents.
Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 317.32 a requester shall be charged $2.00 per page for a copy of a recorded document. This statute further outlines the amount to be charged if a request is made for a certified copy of a recorded document.
The charge for paper copies of recorded documents shall be .25 cents per page should the copy be made by the requester. This amount has been determined as the cost of this office to make these copies.
How to Make a Public Records Request
We will provide prompt inspection of public records and copies of public records in a reasonable period of time. If copies of the records can not be provided while you wait, we will contact you when the records are available. Some requests will take longer than others. Please be sure to make your request for recorded documents in book/page or name format.
Definition of Public Records
Under Ohio law, public records are those items that meet all of the following elements:
1. any one document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including an electronic record;
2. that is created or received by, or coming under the jurisdiction of a public office; and
3. that documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of this office. This does not include records kept for our administrative convenience.
You may ask for a copy of our records retention schedule, which will familiarize you with the types of records available.
Each individual recorded instrument is considered one document.
Records That Will Not be Released
1. Attorney-client privileged information and trial preparation records
2. Social Security Numbers
3. Records of ongoing investigations
4. Medical records
5. BMV records
6. Records that a judge ordered sealed per statute
Peace officer, firefighter, EMT, prosecutor, assistant prosecutor, children’s services worker, or corrections officers, residential and familial information (R.C. 149.43(A)(7);
We will limit the number of public records mailed to you to 10 documents per month if they are being used for commercial purposes.
All images exported from the Columbiana County Recorder’s office via any and all digital formats are watermarked. That is how they are stored online and for digital copies to prevent fraud. Documents brought in for filing with the "UNOFFICIAL" watermark will not be acceptable for official recording purposes. Documents without the watermark may be obtained at the Columbiana County Recorder’s office during normal business hours at 105 S. Market Street Lisbon, OH 44432
We will not provide copies of public records that we create or receive after your original request is completed.
Questions or Concerns
If you have questions or concerns about Ohio Public Records law, please contact your state legislator. You can find contact information at www.ohio.gov.