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Advanced Reporting & Writing: Accessing Public Records: Public Records

Suggested Books on Public Records

Accessing Public Records

Accessing Public Records

Keeping records is a duty of federal, state, and county offices. In the state of Ohio, as in other states, both the types of records and the access to records that shall be maintained and considered Public are spelled out in law. In Ohio, the law is contained in the Ohio Revised Code.

Although many types of public records are available online through the agencies that produce and maintain those records, the majority still are not.

The first step in locating a record is identifying which agency holds the kinds of records you're interested in, and then visiting their websites to see if they offer access to public records online or if they require requests to be made by other means (e.g. phone, mail, fax, in person).

Agencies commonly serving as sources of public records are:

  • County auditors
  • County recorders
  • Probate courts
  • Municipal & county courts
  • Attorney general's office
  • Secretary of state's office
  • State departments (i.e. health, transportation, motor vehicles, etc.)

Sources of Local Public Records

Public Records in Delaware County
 

Delaware County Auditor - Used to find information about properties in Delaware County. Information includes owner information, home address, property value, taxes paid, taxes owed, transfer history, and property photos.

Delaware County Accident Reports - Parties involved in the accident, description of the event, parties' addresses and phone numbers.

Delware County Building Permits - Estimated building costs, applicants' names, property address, business names.

Delware County Marriage Records - The Delware County Probate Court maintains marriage records for the county. These records are not available to search or download online. You need to visit the court during business hours to get a copy.

Delware County Recorder - Info on real eastate records in Delware County, such as mortgage information, deeds, federal tax lien filings, and financing statements.

Joint Legislative Ethics Committee - From the Office of the Legislative Inspector General. Find lobbyists, their employers, their reports, and financial disclosure statements for Ohio General Assembly Members and Staff.

Ohio Birth & Death Certificates - The Delware General Health District can issue certificates for any county in Ohio. However, these records are not available publicly online. They accept walk-in requests, but you'll need to visit the Vital Statistics office of the Delware General Health District Offices.

Ohio Election Campaign Finance - Maintained by the Ohio Secretary of State's Office. Includes info on campaign finance committees, contributions to candidate's campaigns, and expenditures of candidates.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction - Info on offenders currently incarcerated, under supervision, judicially released, or who died due to natural causes while incarcerated. Includes info on offenses, sentencing information, and personal info such as DOB, race, and gender.

Registered Sexual Offenders - Maintained by the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Includes info on registered offenders, their photos, addresses, offenses, victim information, and vehicles registered.