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Ohio newspaper wins court battle over records

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  1. Freedom of Information
The Cincinnati Enquirer won an Ohio Supreme Court ruling Wednesday that a lower court must decide whether the record of a trial…

The Cincinnati Enquirer won an Ohio Supreme Court ruling Wednesday that a lower court must decide whether the record of a trial court proceeding was properly sealed.

The appellate court had dismissed the newspaper’s case as moot when the records were unsealed. The defendant in the murder case at issue, Michel Veillette, committed suicide while in jail.

Nevertheless, the Ohio Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court to decide whether the newspaper should be awarded attorneys fees and whether the records were properly sealed.

In a unanimous but unsigned opinion, the state’s highest court said the case was one that marked an exception to the mootness review — in almost all situations involving sealed court records, the need for closing the records will end before a court can decide whether they were properly sealed in the first place.