Stubblefield v. Montgomery Cnty. Children Servs., 2021-00390PQ

CourtCourt of Claims of Ohio
Writing for the CourtPatrick E. Sheeran Judge
Citation2022 Ohio 965
PartiesPATRICIA STUBBLEFIELD Requester v. MONTGOMERY COUNTY CHILDREN SERVICES Respondent
Decision Date01 February 2022
Docket Number2021-00390PQ

2022-Ohio-965

PATRICIA STUBBLEFIELD Requester
v.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY CHILDREN SERVICES Respondent

No. 2021-00390PQ

Court of Claims of Ohio

February 1, 2022


Sent to S.C. Reporter 3/25/22

DECISION AND ENTRY

Patrick E. Sheeran Judge

Requester Patricia Stubblefield-a self-represented litigant-objects to a Special Master's Report and Recommendation in this public-records case. Stubblefield's objections are not well taken for reasons set forth below.

I. Background

{¶1} On July 12, 2021, Stubblefield filed a Complaint against Respondent Montgomery County Children Services (MCCS). In the Complaint, Stubblefield states, "The original request for records was submitted on March 16th, 2021. Several follow-up inquiries were submitted. The records were finally released on April 29th, 2021. Several of the pages within the request have been redacted. I do not believe these pages have been redacted truthfully/legally. I would like for the concealed portion of my request to be un-redacted and released to me for review."

{¶2} The Court appointed a Special Master who referred the case for mediation. After mediation failed to successfully resolve all disputed issues between the parties, the case was returned to the docket of the Special Master. On December 21, 2021, the Special Master issued a Report and Recommendation (R&R). The Special Master recommends (1) denying the claim for production of records and (2) assessing costs equally between the parties. (R&R, 8.)

1

{¶3} MCCS has not filed any timely written objections to the Report and Recommendation. Stubblefield filed untimely written objections to the Report and Recommendation on January 11, 2022. MCCS has not filed a timely reply to Stubblefield's objections.

II. Law and Analysis

{¶4} R.C. 2743.75(F)(2) governs the filing of objections to a report and recommendation issued under the special proceeding established in R.C. 2743.75. See generally Welsh-Huggins v. Jefferson Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 163 Ohio St.3d 337, 2020-Ohio-5371, 170 N.E.3d 768, ¶ 11 ("[t]he enactment of R.C. 2743.75 created an alternative means to resolve public-records dispute"). Under R.C. 2743.75(F)(2), either party "may object to the report and recommendation within seven business days after receiving the report and recommendation by filing a written objection with the clerk and sending a copy to the other party by certified mail, return receipt requested. * * * If either party timely objects, the other party may file with the clerk a response within seven business days after receiving the objection and send a copy of the response to the objecting party by certified mail, return receipt requested. The court, within seven business days after the response to the objection is filed, shall issue a final order that adopts, modifies, or rejects the report and recommendation."

{¶5} Stubblefield's objections are not well taken for several reasons.

{¶6} First, Stubblefield's objections are not accompanied by any proof of service. Stubblefield thus has not complied with R.C. 2743.75(F)(2) that requires objections to be sent to the other party by certified mail, return receipt requested. The Court is...

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