State v. PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE, No. 2005-0206.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Ohio
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation105 Ohio St.3d 172,824 NE 2d 64
Docket NumberNo. 2005-0206.
Decision Date24 February 2005
PartiesTHE STATE EX REL. DISPATCH PRINTING COMPANY v. MORROW COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE ET AL.

105 Ohio St.3d 172
2005-Ohio-685
824 NE 2d 64

2005-Ohio-685

THE STATE EX REL. DISPATCH PRINTING COMPANY
v.
MORROW COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE ET AL.

No. 2005-0206.

Supreme Court of Ohio.

Submitted February 17, 2005.

Decided February 24, 2005.


Zeiger, Tigges, Little & Lindsmith, L.L.P., John W. Zeiger, and Marion H. Little Jr., for relator.

Charles S. Howland, Morrow County Prosecuting Attorney, for respondents.

PER CURIAM.

{¶ 1} In January 2005, relator, the Dispatch Printing Company ("Dispatch"), requested that respondent Morrow County Prosecuting Attorney Charles S. Howland provide it with a copy of the 911 tape relating to the homicides of Diana Cooper and Cameron Bateman. Howland permitted the Dispatch to listen to the 911 tape and offered to transcribe it, but refused to provide the Dispatch with a copy of the tape or allow the Dispatch to record it.

{¶ 2} On January 28, 2005, the Dispatch filed this action under the Ohio Public Records Act, R.C. 149.43, to compel respondents, Howland, the Morrow County Prosecutor's office, and Morrow County, to immediately produce a copy of the requested 911 tape. The Dispatch also moved for a peremptory writ and requested its costs and expenses, including attorney fees. On February 16, 2005, respondents filed an answer admitting the pertinent facts. In its motion, the Dispatch states, "Given the time sensitivity of this matter, it is requested that the relief be granted forthwith."

{¶ 3} This cause is now before us for our S.Ct.Prac.R. X(5) determination.

S.Ct.Prac.R. X(5): Standard of Review

{¶ 4} We must now determine whether dismissal, an alternative writ, or a peremptory writ is appropriate. S.Ct.Prac.R. X(5); State ex rel. Consumers' Counsel v. Pub. Util. Comm., 102 Ohio St.3d 301, 2004-Ohio-2894, 809 N.E.2d 1146, ¶ 9. The Dispatch requests a peremptory writ of mandamus. "If the pertinent facts are uncontroverted and it appears beyond doubt that the relator is entitled to the requested writ, we will issue a peremptory writ of mandamus." State ex rel. Highlander v. Rudduck, 103 Ohio St.3d 370, 2004-Ohio-4952, 816 N.E.2d 213, ¶ 8.

105 Ohio St.3d 173

Application of Standard to Mandamus Claim

{¶ 5} The Dispatch is entitled to the requested writ. "Nine-one-one tapes in general * * * are public records which are not exempt from disclosure and must be immediately released upon request." State ex rel. Cincinnati Enquirer v. Hamilton Cty. (1996), 75 Ohio St.3d 374, 379, 662 N.E.2d 334; see, also, State ex rel. Beacon Journal Publishing Co. v. Maurer (2001), 91 Ohio St.3d 54, 57, 741 N.E.2d 511.

{¶ 6} In Cincinnati Enquirer, we reasoned as follows in holding that all 911 tapes are public records subject to immediate release upon request:

{¶ 7} "Basic 911 systems * * * are systems `in which a caller provides information on the nature of and location of an emergency, and the personnel receiving the call must determine the appropriate emergency service provider to respond at that location.' R.C. 4931.40(B). * * * 911 operators simply compile information and do not investigate. The 911 tapes are not made in order to preserve evidence for criminal prosecution. Nine-one-one calls that are received * * * are always initiated by the callers. * * *

{¶ 8} "From the foregoing, it is evident that 911 tapes are not prepared by attorneys or other law enforcement officials. Instead, 911 calls are routinely recorded without any specific investigatory purpose in mind. There is no expectation of privacy when a person makes a 911 call. Instead, there is an expectation that the information provided will be recorded and disclosed to the public. Moreover, because 911 calls generally precede offense or incident form reports completed by the police, they are even further removed from the initiation of the criminal investigation than the form reports themselves.

{¶ 9} "The moment the tapes were made as a result of the calls (in these cases — and in...

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11 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Enquirer v. Sage, No. 2013–0945.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • 19 Marzo 2015
    ...without having his plea broadcast on the evening news." State ex rel. Dispatch Printing Co. v. Morrow Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 105 Ohio St.3d 172, 2005-Ohio-685, 824 N.E.2d 64, ¶ 20 (Pfeifer, J., concurring). I have attempted to make the case that citizens should be free from having to pub......
  • Sengstock v. City of Twinsburg, 2021-00330PQ
    • United States
    • Court of Claims of Ohio
    • 17 Noviembre 2021
    ...Cty., 75 Ohio St.3d 374, 378, 662 N.E.2d 334 (1996). Accord State ex rel. Dispatch Printing Co. v. Morrow Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 105 Ohio St.3d 172, 2005-Ohio-685, 824 N.E.2d 64, ¶ 9-14; State ex rel. Dillery v. Icsman, 92 Ohio St.3d 312, 316, 750 N.E.2d 156 (2001); 1996 Ohio Atty.Gen.Op......
  • Ludlow v. Ohio Dep't of Health, 2021-00040PQ
    • United States
    • Court of Claims of Ohio
    • 8 Junio 2021
    ...the records cannot be defrocked of their status." Id. Accord State ex rel. Dispatch Printing Co. v. Morrow Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 105 Ohio St.3d 172, 2005-Ohio-685, 824 N.E.2d 64, ¶ 9-14; State ex rel. Dillery v. Icsman, 92 Ohio St.3d 312, 316, 750 N.E.2d 156 (2001). See also 1996 Ohio O......
  • Requester v. Ohio Dep't of Health, Case No. 2020-00618PQ
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Claims
    • 23 Marzo 2021
    ...investigators, prosecutors, or grand juries.) Accord State ex rel. Dispatch Printing Co. v. Morrow Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 105 Ohio St.3d 172, 2005-Ohio-685, 824 N.E.2d 64, ¶ 9-14; State ex rel. Dillery v. Icsman, 92 Ohio St.3d 312, 316, 750 N.E.2d 156 (2001). See also 1996 Ohio Op. Atty.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • State ex rel. Enquirer v. Sage, No. 2013–0945.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • 19 Marzo 2015
    ...without having his plea broadcast on the evening news." State ex rel. Dispatch Printing Co. v. Morrow Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 105 Ohio St.3d 172, 2005-Ohio-685, 824 N.E.2d 64, ¶ 20 (Pfeifer, J., concurring). I have attempted to make the case that citizens should be free from having to pub......
  • Sengstock v. City of Twinsburg, 2021-00330PQ
    • United States
    • Court of Claims of Ohio
    • 17 Noviembre 2021
    ...Cty., 75 Ohio St.3d 374, 378, 662 N.E.2d 334 (1996). Accord State ex rel. Dispatch Printing Co. v. Morrow Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 105 Ohio St.3d 172, 2005-Ohio-685, 824 N.E.2d 64, ¶ 9-14; State ex rel. Dillery v. Icsman, 92 Ohio St.3d 312, 316, 750 N.E.2d 156 (2001); 1996 Ohio Atty.Gen.Op......
  • Ludlow v. Ohio Dep't of Health, 2021-00040PQ
    • United States
    • Court of Claims of Ohio
    • 8 Junio 2021
    ...the records cannot be defrocked of their status." Id. Accord State ex rel. Dispatch Printing Co. v. Morrow Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 105 Ohio St.3d 172, 2005-Ohio-685, 824 N.E.2d 64, ¶ 9-14; State ex rel. Dillery v. Icsman, 92 Ohio St.3d 312, 316, 750 N.E.2d 156 (2001). See also 1996 Ohio O......
  • Requester v. Ohio Dep't of Health, Case No. 2020-00618PQ
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Claims
    • 23 Marzo 2021
    ...investigators, prosecutors, or grand juries.) Accord State ex rel. Dispatch Printing Co. v. Morrow Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 105 Ohio St.3d 172, 2005-Ohio-685, 824 N.E.2d 64, ¶ 9-14; State ex rel. Dillery v. Icsman, 92 Ohio St.3d 312, 316, 750 N.E.2d 156 (2001). See also 1996 Ohio Op. Atty.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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