Grant v. Ohio Dep't of Rehab. & Corr., Corr. Reception Ctr., 2022-00114PQ

CourtCourt of Claims of Ohio
Writing for the CourtPATRICK E. SHEERAN, Judge.
Citation2022 Ohio 1619
PartiesDENNIS D. GRANT Requester v. OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION & CORRECTION, CORRECTIONAL RECEPTION CENTER Respondent
Decision Date19 April 2022
Docket Number2022-00114PQ

2022-Ohio-1619

DENNIS D. GRANT Requester
v.

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION & CORRECTION, CORRECTIONAL RECEPTION CENTER Respondent

No. 2022-00114PQ

Court of Claims of Ohio

April 19, 2022


DECISION AND ENTRY

PATRICK E. SHEERAN, Judge.

{¶1} Requester Dennis Grant objects to a Special Master's recommendation to dismiss Grant's public-records complaint without prejudice. Defendant Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, Correctional Reception Center, has not filed a written response to Grant's objections. The Court overrules Grant's objections for reasons set forth below.

{¶2} On March 8, 2022, in a Recommendation to Dismiss Without Prejudice, the Special Master states, "By requester's count the complaint includes approximately 115 partially overlapping records requests, almost all allegedly unfulfilled." (Recommendation To Dismiss Without Prejudice, 1.) The Special Master also states:

On review, the special master concludes that resolution of this dispute is unlikely to be expeditiously litigated under the procedures available in R.C. 2743.75. The public records law sophistication of the parties suggests that mediation is unlikely to resolve any substantial portion of the unfulfilled requests. Because the parties may not conduct discovery, R.C. 2743.75(E)(3)(a), the determination of fact-dependent claims would likely require multiple factual inquiries by the special master under R.C. 2743.75(E)(3)(c) Records subject to judicial review in camera for applicability of claimed exceptions and extent of permitted redaction would likely be voluminous. In contrast, civil discovery and less restrictive timelines
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are available to the requester through his alternative remedy in a mandamus action pursuant to R.C. 149.43(C)(2). The volume and variety of requests, legal issues, and factual questions in requester's complaint is simply inconsistent with the statutory intent, timelines, and procedures provided in R.C. 2743.75

{¶3} The special master therefore recommends that the complaint be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to R.C. 2743.75(C)(2).

(Footnote omitted.) (Recommendation To Dismiss Without Prejudice, 2-3.)

In written objections, Requester Grant asserts,

• First Objection. The Recommendation disregards the fact that the Respondent has not furnished the Requester with the requested records within a reasonable period of time.
• Second Objection. The Recommendation disregards the fact that the Respondent did not inform the Requester of the manner in which certain withheld records are maintained and accessed in the ordinary course of the Respondent's duties.
• Third Objection. The Recommendation misconstrues the intent of R.C. §2743.75 and its available remedies.
• Fourth Objection. The Recommendation is premised on unsubstantiated factual assumptions. Because it is premised on unsupported factual assumptions, it is not in compliance with the intent of R.C. §2743.75.
• Procedural Concerns. The Court's outline of procedural steps was not followed.

(Footnote omitted.)

{¶4} Pursuant to R.C. 2743.75(A), the General Assembly created the special proceeding in R.C. 2743.75 to provide for an "expeditious" and "economical" procedure

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to resolve public-records disputes.[1] See...

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