Public Records

The Ohio Open Records Law, first enacted in 1963, is contained in Section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code. The law describes what records are available, what agencies are covered, what fees can be charged, who can ask for records, etc. Records include all records kept by any public office.

Anyone may request public records and no statement of purpose is required. In fact, records requests need not even be submitted in writing and can be made anonymously. There are no restrictions on the use of records and the Ohio Open Records Law states that records requests will be fulfilled within a reasonable amount of time.

What is a Public Record?

A record is an item on any fixed medium created, received by or sent under the jurisdiction of a public office, and which documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the public office.

Is the city required to provide all records?

There are exceptions according to the public records law.  The confidential nature of certain types of information or records precludes their release per Ohio Revised Code 149.43 (A)(1).  Under conditions where we cannot fulfill a request, we will give the person making the request an explanation why we cannot fulfill, including any legal authority supporting our reason.  See the next question for more details.

How will the department prepare the records requested?

Upon notification of the records request, the department’s record custodian will prepare and make available the requested documents for inspection or copying during regular business hours within a reasonable period.  The requestor must identify the requested documents with sufficient information to allow the office to identify, retrieve, and review.  If the request is unclear, the City reserves the right to ask for additional information, more detailed information, or deny the request for being too broad in scope.  The person making the request will be informed how our records are stored and why a broad scope makes it too difficult to meet the request.  The person making the request may then alter their request.  Requests are not required to be in writing.  The requestor is not required to give his/her name.  

Will the department charge for copies of the records requested?

The requestor must pay the actual cost of the copy but not for employee time.  The requester is required to pay for copies of the public records in advance.  The city of Canton charges 10 cents for photocopies per regular page.  For all other materials, the city of Canton will charge the amount legally permitted.  The city of Canton will also charge for mailing costs if the requester asks that the item be sent via mail.

What should the requester do if they are not satisfied with the response to their records request?

Contact the Law Department via phone at (330) 489-3251 for assistance to resolve the matter.  We take pride in serving the public and will make every reasonable effort to address any concerns.

Records Retention Schedules (RC-2)

Department RC-2 PDF
Auditor RC-2 (1), RC-2 (2), RC-2 (3), RC-2 (4)
Building Code RC-2
Building Maintenance RC-2
Civic Center RC-2
Civil Service RC-2
Collection Systems RC-2
Community Development RC-2
Council RC-2
Courts RC-2
Crime Lab RC-2
Dispatch RC-2
Engineering RC-2
Fair Housing RC-2
Fire RC-2
Health RC-2
Human Resources RC-2
Income Tax RC-2
Information Technology RC-2
Law RC-2
Mayor's Office RC-2
Motor Vehicle RC-2
Parks & Recreation RC-2
Planning RC-2
Police RC-2(1), RC-2 (2)
Purchasing RC-2
Sanitation RC-2
Streets RC-2
Treasurer RC-2
Water RC-2
Water Reclamation RC-2

Public Records Policy

To view the City of Canton's Public Records Policy, click here.

  1. Mayor's Office

    Physical Address
    218 Cleveland Avenue SW
    8th Floor
    Canton, OH 44702

    Mailing Address
    The Honorable Thomas M. Bernabei
    218 Cleveland Avenue SW
    Canton, OH 44702

    Fax: 330-489-3282