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Daily Court Reporter - News Bill aimed to protect people's due process

 

Bill aimed to protect people's due process

KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

Upon return from summer recess, lawmakers seated for a committee in the Ohio House of Representatives may consider a piece of legislation meant to correct officially a public record.

The Final Order Correction Act would effectively protect an Ohioan's due process rights, said Rep. John Barnes Jr., D-Cleveland - the bill's sponsor.

The Final Order Correction Act creates a procedure for when an error, omission or legal defect exists in a public record, a person claiming an interest in its correction may file a petition in the court of common pleas requesting an order for correction or invalidation of the record," Barnes told members of the Civil Justice Committee. "The petition must be filed either in the county where the public office responsible for the record is located or in the county where the record is kept."

Filed as House Bill 672, the bill includes a provision that specifies that a court may find a public record legally defective if the public office improperly executed it, failed to comply with the procedural requirements of state law or violated a petitioner's due process rights when it issued the record.

HB 672 would require a petitioner to specify the error, omission or legal defect - the basis for the petitioner's belief that the record is inaccurate or defective - and the manner in which the petitioner believes the record should be amended, if possible, to cure any inaccuracy.

The public office responsible for perceived mistake, next, would be required to respond by either acknowledging the error, omission or defect, or denying the allegation, stating the basis for its belief that the record is accurate, complete and properly executed.

According to Ohio Legislative Service Commission analysis of the bill, when an error, omission or legal defect exists in a public record, the individual claiming an interest in its correction may file a petition in the court of common pleas requesting an order for correction or invalidation of the record.

"The petition must be filed either in the county where the public office responsible for the record is located or in the county where the record is kept," Aida Montano wrote for the commission.

Once the court receives a petition, the court must schedule and conduct a hearing to consider the evidence presented regarding the public record at issue, HB 672 would require.

"After a hearing, if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the error, omission or legal defect described in the petition was made and that the petitioner has been personally affected, the court must issue its findings together with its reasons and make an order to correct the record or declare it invalid," Montano continued. "The order must be filed in the office where the record is required to be kept.

"On or after the date of filing, the record and order must be received as evidence in all subsequent judicial and administrative proceedings that the record was inaccurate or legally defective."

Finally, he bill would require every public office in the state to publish - either in print or on the public office's website - an explanation of the procedure by which such an error may be addressed through the judicial procedure established by the bill.

"The Final Order Correction Act will ensure that the constitutional right of due process is achieved," Barnes said.

A second hearing of the bill had not been scheduled at time of publication.

Date Published: August 24, 2018

 

Copyright © 2018 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved

 

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