171 N.E.2d 508 (Ohio 1960), 36581, State ex rel. Patterson v. Ayers

Docket Nº36581.
Citation171 N.E.2d 508, 171 Ohio St. 369
Opinion JudgeZIMMERMAN, J.
Party NameSTATE ex rel. PATTERSON, Appellee, v. AYERS, Registrar, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Appellant.
AttorneyMark McElroy, Atty. Gen., Richard F. Swope and Carl A. Bertoch, Columbus, for appellant., John S. Zonak, Columbus, for appellee. Mr. John S. Zonak, for appellee. Mr. Mark McElroy, attorney general, Mr. Richard F. Swope and Mr. Carl A. Bertoch, for appellant.
Judge PanelWEYGANDT, C. J., and TAFT and BELL, JJ., concur. MATTHIAS and HERBERT, JJ., dissent. HERBERT, Judge (dissenting).
Case DateDecember 21, 1960
CourtSupreme Court of Ohio

Page 508

171 N.E.2d 508 (Ohio 1960)

171 Ohio St. 369

STATE ex rel. PATTERSON, Appellee,

v.

AYERS, Registrar, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Appellant.

No. 36581.

Supreme Court of Ohio.

December 21, 1960

Syllabus by the Court.

1. Generally, those records in the custody of public officials which have been designated 'public records' by the General Assembly are open to inspection by anyone at appropriate times, subject to the limitation that such inspection does not endanger the safety of the records or unreasonably interfere with the discharge of the duties of the officer having custody of the same.

2. One who applies to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to inspect personally and copy data from a single registration and record of a motor vehicle in his possession, during office hours and at the registrar's convenience, is entitled to such inspection, and mandamus is an appropriate remedy to enforce such right.

This mandamus action originated in the Court of Appeals for Franklin County with Paul B. Patterson, an Ohio citizen, as relator and Clifford W. Ayers, Registrar of Motor Vehicles [171 Ohio St. 370] of the state of Ohio, as respondent. Relator seeks a writ ordering respondent to grant him, relator, during business hours and at the convenience of respondent, access to and inspection of the records pertaining to the registration number of a certain motor vehicle belonging to a named resident of Columbus, Ohio, in order that relator may ascertain creditors' interests, if any, in such vehicle and take such data from such records as he may wish.

Respondent interposed a demurrer to the amended petition, on the grounds (1) that such petition does not state facts constituting

Page 509

a cause of action and (2) that its allegations are insufficient to entitle relator to the relief prayed for. On hearing, the Court of Appeals 'ordered that the demurrer of the respondent to relator's amended petition be overruled; and respondent having elected not to plead further and being in default for answer it is further ordered that a writ of mandamus be issued to the respondent commanding him to allow the relator to inspect the names and addresses on drivers' license records and registration records of motor vehicles belonging to * * * [the named individual] without charge.'

An appeal as of right brings the cause to this court for review.

Mark McElroy, Atty. Gen., Richard F. Swope and Carl A. Bertoch, Columbus, for appellant.

John S. Zonak, Columbus, for appellee.

ZIMMERMAN, Judge.

So far as pertinent here, Section 4507.25, Revised Code (amended, 1959), recites:

'The registrar of motor vehicles may adopt and publish rules to govern his proceedings. All proceedings of the registrar shall be open to the public, and all documents in his possession shall be public records. * * * Upon the request of any person, accompanied by a fee of 50 cents per name, the registrar may furnish lists of names and addresses as such appear upon the applications for driver's licenses, provided that any further information contained in such applications shall not be disclosed.' (Emphasis supplied.)

Section 4503.26, Revised Code (amended, 1959), provides, inter alia:

[171 Ohio St. 371] 'The registrar may, upon application of any person and payment of the...

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32 practice notes
  • 526 N.E.2d 786 (Ohio 1988), 87-757, State ex rel. Nat. Broadcasting Co., Inc. v. City of Cleveland
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court of Ohio
    • 27 de Julho de 1988
    ...of the same.' " Id. at 109, 74 O.O.2d at 211, 341 N.E.2d at 577-578 (quoting from State, ex rel. Patterson, v. Ayers [1960], 171 Ohio St. 369, 14 O.O.2d 116, 171 N.E.2d 508). This language must be the starting point of our analysis. As one commentator has stated: "The Ohio Supreme......
  • Sealed With an Acquittal: When not Guilty Means Never Having to Say You Were Tried
    • United States
    • Capital University Law Review Nbr. 32-1, October 2003
    • 1 de Outubro de 2003
    ... Id. [153] Id. at 155. [154] See Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc., 434 U.S 589, 597 (1978). [155] See id. (citing Browne v. Cumming, 109 Eng. Rep. 377, 378 (K.B. 1829)). [156] Id. at 598. [157] See, e.g., Seattle Times Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20 (1984). [15......
  • AGO 2007-026.
    • United States
    • Attorney General Opinions Ohio
    • 21 de Agosto de 2007
    ...to public inspection was established, however, prior to the enactment of R.C. 149.43. See State ex rel. Patterson v Ayers, 171 Ohio St. 369, 371, 171 N.E.2d 508 (1960) ("`[t]he rule in Ohio is that public records are the people's records, and that the officials in whose&......
  • State ex rel. Leadingham v. Schisler, 122203 OHCA4, 02CA2827
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals of Ohio
    • 22 de Dezembro de 2003
    ...Dayton Newspapers, Inc. v. Dayton (1976), 45 Ohio St.2d 107, 109, 341 N.E.2d 576, 577, citing State ex rel. Patterson v. Ayers (1960), 171 Ohio St. 369, 371, 171 N.E.2d 508, 509. Under R.C. 149.43(B) of the Public Records Act, "any person" may inspect and copy public records. {¶26......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
27 cases
  • 526 N.E.2d 786 (Ohio 1988), 87-757, State ex rel. Nat. Broadcasting Co., Inc. v. City of Cleveland
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court of Ohio
    • 27 de Julho de 1988
    ...of the same.' " Id. at 109, 74 O.O.2d at 211, 341 N.E.2d at 577-578 (quoting from State, ex rel. Patterson, v. Ayers [1960], 171 Ohio St. 369, 14 O.O.2d 116, 171 N.E.2d 508). This language must be the starting point of our analysis. As one commentator has stated: "The Ohio Supreme......
  • State ex rel. Leadingham v. Schisler, 122203 OHCA4, 02CA2827
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals of Ohio
    • 22 de Dezembro de 2003
    ...Dayton Newspapers, Inc. v. Dayton (1976), 45 Ohio St.2d 107, 109, 341 N.E.2d 576, 577, citing State ex rel. Patterson v. Ayers (1960), 171 Ohio St. 369, 371, 171 N.E.2d 508, 509. Under R.C. 149.43(B) of the Public Records Act, "any person" may inspect and copy public records. {¶26......
  • Gannett GP Media, Inc. v. Ohio Department of Public Safety, 053017 OHCOC, 2017-00051-PQ
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Claims of Ohio
    • 30 de Maio de 2017
    ...of public officials should be open to inspection by anyone at appropriate times. See State ex rel. Patterson v. Ayers, 171 Ohio St. 369, 171 N.E.2d 508 (1960), paragraph one of the syllabus ("Generally, those records in the custody of public officials which hav......
  • 383 N.E.2d 124 (Ohio 1978), 77-1338, Wooster Republican Printing Co. v. City of Wooster
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court of Ohio
    • 4 de Dezembro de 1978
    ...Dayton Newspapers, supra (45 Ohio St.2d 107, at page 110, 341 N.E.2d 576); State ex rel. Patterson v. Ayers (1960), 171 Ohio St. 639, 171 N.E.2d 508. After weighing these factors, this court finds that the Wooster Community Hospital admission and discharge records are subject to compulsory ......
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2 books & journal articles
  • Sealed With an Acquittal: When not Guilty Means Never Having to Say You Were Tried
    • United States
    • Capital University Law Review Nbr. 32-1, October 2003
    • 1 de Outubro de 2003
    ... Id. [153] Id. at 155. [154] See Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc., 434 U.S 589, 597 (1978). [155] See id. (citing Browne v. Cumming, 109 Eng. Rep. 377, 378 (K.B. 1829)). [156] Id. at 598. [157] See, e.g., Seattle Times Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20 (1984). [15......
  • The Ohio Modern Courts Amendment: 45 years of progress.
    • United States
    • Albany Law Review Vol. 76 Nbr. 4, June - June 2013
    • 22 de Junho de 2013
    ...R. 45(A). (48) Wells v. Lewis, 12 Ohio Dec. 170 (Cincinnati Super. Ct. 1901). (49) Id. at 176. (50) State ex rel. Patterson v. Ayers, 171 N.E.2d 508, 509 (Ohio 1960). (51) See Act of June 27, 1963, Amended Substitute House Bill No. 187, 1963 Ohio Laws 1644, 155 (codified at OHIO REV. CODE A......