Advance Local Media, LLC v. The Ohio State Univ., 2021-00596PQ

CourtCourt of Claims of Ohio
Writing for the CourtPATRICK E. SHEERAN, JUDGE
Citation2022 Ohio 321
Docket Number2021-00596PQ
Decision Date25 January 2022
PartiesADVANCE LOCAL MEDIA, LLC, DBA CLEVELAND.COM, AND PLAINDEALER PUBLISHING CO. Requester v. THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY Respondent

2022-Ohio-321

ADVANCE LOCAL MEDIA, LLC, DBA CLEVELAND.COM, AND PLAINDEALER PUBLISHING CO. Requester
v.
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY Respondent

No. 2021-00596PQ

Court of Claims of Ohio

January 25, 2022


JUDGMENT ENTRY

PATRICK E. SHEERAN, JUDGE

{¶1} On November 10, 2021, a Special Master recommended dismissal of Requester's Complaint without prejudice pursuant to R.C. 2743.75(C)(2).[1](Recommendation To Dismiss Without Prejudice, 2.) No party has objected to the Special Master's recommendation.

{¶2} The Special Master states,

On review of the complaint the special master concludes that resolution of this dispute is unlikely to be expeditious if litigated under the procedures available in R.C. 2743.75 Because the parties may not conduct discovery, R.C 2743.75(E)(3)(a), determination of fact-dependent issues would likely require multiple voluminous inquiries by the special master under R.C. 2743.75(E)(3)(c). Further, records potentially subject to judicial review in
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camera for applicability of claimed exceptions and extent of permitted redaction include at least 161 victim/witness interviews (Complaint at 2) and an unknown number of communication records. In contrast, civil discovery and less restrictive timelines are available to the requester in a mandamus action filed pursuant to R.C. 149.43(C)(2).

(Recommendation To Dismiss Without Prejudice, 2.)

{¶3} The Court finds that, in this instance, the Special Master's recommendation to dismiss Requester's complaint without prejudice is well taken under R.C. 2743.75(D)(2). Pursuant to R.C. 2743.75(D)(2), "[notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this section, upon the recommendation of the special master, the court of claims on its own motion may dismiss the complaint at any time." The Court agrees with the Special Master's view that, under the circumstances of this case, civil discovery and less restrictive timelines may be available to Requester in a mandamus action filed under R.C. 149.43. See R.C. 149.43(C)(1)(b) (permitting a mandamus action to obtain a judgment that orders compliance with R.C. 149.43(B)).

{¶4} Accordingly, pursuant to R.C. 2743.75(D)(2), the Court sua sponte dismisses Requester's Complaint without prejudice in accordance with the Special Master's recommendation. Court costs are assessed to Requester. The clerk shall serve upon all parties notice of this judgment and its date of entry upon the journal.

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