Public Records Requests

What is a public record?

A "public record" includes any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including electronic records, created or received by or coming under the jurisdiction of Cuyahoga County Probate Court, which serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operation, or other activities of the Court. All records which meet this definition are public records, unless exempted under section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Public record requests are not the same as copy requests. For more information on regular, certified or exempliefied copies, please click here for more details.

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When can I expect copies for my public records request?

Copies of public records must be made available within a reasonable period of time. “Prompt” and “reasonable” take into account the volume of records requested; the proximity of the location where the records are stored; the necessity for any legal review and redaction; and other facts and circumstances of the records requested.

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What language do I use for a public records request?

No specific language is required to make a request for public records. However, the requester must at least identify the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow the Court to identify, retrieve, and review the records. In processing the request, the Court does not have an obligation to create new records or perform a search or research for information in the office’s records.

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What happens if the request is unclear, too broad, or unidentifiable?

If the requester makes an ambiguous or overly broad request or has difficulty in making a request such that the Court cannot reasonably identify what public records are being requested, the request may be denied, but the Court must then provide the requester an opportunity to revise the request by informing the requester of the manner in which records are maintained and accessed by the Court.

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Is the Court required to have electronic records?

An electronic record is deemed to exist so long as the Court is able to produce the record through the Court’s standard use of sorting, filtering, or querying features. Although not required by law, the Court may consider generating new records when it appears reasonable and is practical under the circumstances.

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How can I submit a request for public records?

You may email the public records request form to the Cuyahoga County Probate Court at

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