Parks v. Stronger Berger, Stronger Community PAC, 020519 OHCOC, 2018-01294PQ

Docket Nº:2018-01294PQ
Opinion Judge:PATRICK M. MCGRATH JUDGE.
Party Name:MICHAEL R. PARKS Requester v. STRONGER BERGER, STRONGER COMMUNITY PAC Respondent
Case Date:February 05, 2019
Court:Court of Claims of Ohio
 
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2019-Ohio-968

MICHAEL R. PARKS Requester

v.

STRONGER BERGER, STRONGER COMMUNITY PAC Respondent

No. 2018-01294PQ

Court of Claims of Ohio

February 5, 2019

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

ENTRY ADOPTING RECOMMENDATION OF SPECIAL MASTER

PATRICK M. MCGRATH JUDGE.

{¶1} Respondent Stronger Berger, Stronger Community PAC (Stronger Berger PAC) objects to a special master's report and recommendation that advises the court to dismiss this case without prejudice as a case of first impression.

I. Background

{¶2} Pursuant to R.C. 2743.75(D), requester Michael R. Parks filed a complaint against Stronger Berger PAC, alleging that he was denied access to public records in violation of R.C. 149.43(B). The court appointed an attorney as a special master in the cause. The court, through the special master, referred the case to mediation. After mediation failed to successfully resolve all disputed issues, the court returned the case to the special master's docket. Stronger Berger PAC moved to dismiss Parks' complaint, contending that it was not subject to Ohio public records law because it was a private entity.

{¶3} On January 4, 2019, the special master issued a report and recommendation (R&R) wherein he stated: "I find that this case presents an entirely novel question for the decision of the court, and cannot be governed by any existing precedent. Determination of the question presented requires analysis of the interplay between the Public Records Act, the record-keeping and disclosure provisions of R.C. Chapter 3517, and, due to the request for 'all meeting minutes,' the Open Meetings Act. Under the particular facts and circumstances of this matter, I recommend the court find that the claim presented constitutes a case of first impression." (R&R, 3.) The special master recommended dismissal of the complaint without prejudice pursuant to R.C. 2743.75(C)(2).

{¶4} On January 16, 2019-seven business days after Stronger Berger PAC received a copy of the R&R-Stronger Berger PAC filed a written objection to the special master's R&R. In a certificate of service, Stronger Berger PAC's counsel certified that she sent a copy of the written...

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