Parks v. Stronger Berger, 010419 OHCOC, 2018-01294PQ

Docket Nº:2018-01294PQ
Opinion Judge:JEFFERY W. CLARK SPECIAL MASTER.
Party Name:MICHAEL R. PARKS Requester v. STRONGER BERGER, STRONGER COMMUNITY PAC Respondent
Case Date:January 04, 2019
Court:Court of Claims of Ohio
 
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2019-Ohio-967

MICHAEL R. PARKS Requester

v.

STRONGER BERGER, STRONGER COMMUNITY PAC Respondent

No. 2018-01294PQ

Court of Claims of Ohio

January 4, 2019

Sent to S.C. Reporter 3/20/19

RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS WITHOUT PREJUDICE AS CASE OF FIRST IMPRESSION

JEFFERY W. CLARK SPECIAL MASTER.

{¶1} On August 11, 2018, requester Michael Parks made a public records request of the treasurer for respondent Stronger Berger, Stronger Community PAC (SB PAC) for • Copy of all invoices received and/or paid by the PAC.

• Copy of any meeting minutes.

• Copy of all bank statements.

(Complaint at 9.) On August 28, 2018, the treasurer responded that SB PAC was closed and no longer exists, and that the PAC was not a "public office" subject to the Ohio Public Records Act. (Complaint at 23.) On September 14, 2018, Parks filed a complaint under R.C. 2743.75 alleging denial of access to public records by SB PAC in violation of R.C. 149.43(B). Following unsuccessful mediation, SB PAC filed a motion to dismiss (Response) on November 19, 2018. On December 14, 2018, the special master accepted an additional pleading from Parks for filing (Reply).

{¶2} On review of the pleadings and attachments, the special master will sua sponte address whether this action constitutes a case of first impression that should be dismissed without prejudice. R.C. 2743.75(C)(2) provides: "If the allegedly aggrieved person files a complaint under this section and the court of claims determines that the complaint constitutes a case of first impression that involves an issue of substantial public interest, the court shall dismiss the complaint without prejudice and direct the allegedly aggrieved person to commence a mandamus action in the court of appeals with appropriate jurisdiction as provided in division (C)(1) of section 149.43 of the Revised Code."

A case of first impression is one that "presents an entirely novel question for the decision of the court, and cannot be governed by any existing precedent." Black's Law Dictionary 635 (6th Ed. 1990). While there is no statutory definition or case law test for this concept, the Ohio Supreme Court has...

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