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Isreal v. Franklin County Commissioners

Court of Claims of Ohio

December 17, 2019

MICHAEL ISREAL Requester
v.
FRANKLIN COUNTY COMMISSIONERS Respondent

          Sent to S.C. Reporter 1/16/20

          DECISION AND ENTRY

          Patrick M. McGrath Judge

          {¶1} Requester Michael Isreal, a se f-represented litigant, has filed the following: (1) "Memorandum Contra Motion To Special Master Jeffery W. Clark Report and Recommendation filed on October 17, 2019," and (2) "Motion Supplement-Put In Order Pro Se Requester Michael Isreal's November 19, 2019 Memorandum Contra Motion To Special Master Jeffery W. Clark Report and Recommendation Filed On October 17, 2019 To Include The Attached Left-Out Exhibits."

         I. Background

         {¶2} On April 24, 2019, pursuant to R.C. 2743.75(D), Isreal sued respondent Franklin County Commissioners, alleging a denial of access to public records. The court appointed a special master in the cause. The court, through the special master, referred the case to mediation. After mediation failed to successfully resolve all disputed issues between the parties, respondent, through counsel, moved to dismiss Isreal's complaint.

         {¶3} On October 17, 2019, the special master issued a report and recommendation (R&R), wherein he recommended denial of Isreal's claim for production of records as moot, denial of a claim that responsive records were untimely provided, and assessing court costs against Isreal.

         {¶4} On November 19, 2019, with leave of court, Isreal filed a document labeled "Memorandum Contra Motion To Special Master Jeffery W. Clark Report and Recommendation filed on October 17, 2019." In a portion of the filing labeled "Service," Isreal indicates that he "mailed" a copy of the filing to respondent's counsel. Two days later-on November 21, 2019-Isreal filed a document labeled "Motion Supplement-Put In Order Pro Se Requester Michael Isreal's November 19, 2019 Memorandum Contra Motion To Special Master Jeffery W. Clark Report and Recommendation Filed on October 17, 2019 To Include The Attached Left-Out Exhibits."

         II. Law and Analysis

         1. R.C. 2743.75(F)(2) governs objections to a special master's report and recommendation.

         {¶5} R.C. 2743.75(F)(2) sets forth the standard for reviewing objections to a special master's report and recommendation issued under R.C. 2743.75. Pursuant to R.C. 2743.75(F)(2),

[e]ither 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. Any objection to the report and recommendation shall be specific and state with particularity all grounds for the objection. If neither party timely objects, the court of claims shall promptly issue a final order adopting the report and recommendation, unless it determines that there is an error of law or other defect evident on the face of the report and recommendation. 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.

         2. Isreal's filing of November 19, 2019, and Isreal's motion of November 21, 2019 are not well-taken.

         {¶6} The court construes Isreal's filing of November 19, 2019, to be an objection. Isreal has indicated that he "mailed" his objection to respondent's counsel, but Isreal has not certified that he served his objection on respondent's counsel by certified mail, return receipt requested, as required by R.C. 2743.75(F)(2). Isreal's objection thus appears to be procedurally irregular.

         {¶7} Isreal states in the objections: "As of November 19, 2019, isreal [sic] has not received complete discovery for the public records sought and received through the foregoing public information request no. 2 and 4." Isreal describes the requests as: "2. Provide the dates and time the fire department was called for malfunctions of elevator (8) in 2018," and "4. Provide the ...


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