Public Records Request

Fill Out An Online Public Records Request Form

I. General Policy Statement
Springfield Township is committed to providing interested persons with public records upon request.All public records responsive to a public records request shall be promptly prepared and made available for inspection to any person at all reasonable times during regular business hours or, upon request, shall be copied and provided to the requester at cost in a reasonable period of time. Springfield Township will not permit persons who are incarcerated pursuant to a criminal conviction or juvenile adjudication to inspect or to obtain a copy of any public record concerning a criminal investigation or prosecution or concerning what would be a criminal investigation or prosecution if the subject of the investigation or prosecution were an adult except as required by Section 149.43 B)(8) of the Ohio Revised Code.

II.Organization of Public Records and Current Records Retention Schedule
To facilitate broader access to public records, Springfield Township shall organize and maintain its public records so that they can be made available for inspection or copying.Springfield Township shall also have a copy of its current records retention schedule readily available to the public at its administrative offices.

III. Determination of Regular Business Hours
Although certain of Springfield Township’s operations are continuous, the regular business hours of the Township for purposes of public records inspection shall be 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (with the exception of published holidays).

IV. Initiation of a Public Records Request
Public records requests should be presented to the Township Administrator, his assistant or designee, orally or in writing at the Township Administrative Offices located at 9150 Winton Road, Cincinnati, Ohio45231, by telephone to (513) 522-1410, or by facsimile transmission to (513) 729-0818. In order to enhance the Township’s ability to identify, locate, or deliver the public records sought by the requester, Springfield Township will request that all persons making public records requests complete a Public Records Request form.The completion of this form is completely voluntary, and no public records request will be denied as a result of a requester’s refusal to complete the form.

V. Response Timeframe

1. Review of Routine Requests Routine requests include, but are not limited to, requests for documents such as meeting minutes, ordinances, resolutions, budgets, salary information, forms, and personnel database.Except in unusual circumstances, routine requests for records should be satisfied immediately if feasible to do so.


2. Review of Routine Requests by the Springfield Township Police Chief or his Designee Public records requests involving routine police reports such as Ohio Uniform Incident Reports, Shift Incident Logs, Crash Reports (OH-1), Form 527s, and Multiple Uniform Traffic Tickets shall be immediately forwarded to the Police Chief or his designee. The Police Chief or his designee shall evaluate all requests forwarded to him to determine the extent of the request.If the request is extensive, involves an on-going traffic or criminal investigation, is filed by the defendant in a criminal case, or otherwise requires legal review, the Chief of Police or his designee shall immediately forward the request to the Law Director for review.Otherwise, the Chief of Police or his designee shall review the request determine if the records requested are public records and whether any records deemed public contain information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or copying. In the event that the Police Chief or his designee determines that a public record contains information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or copying, the Police Chief of his designee shall make available all of the information within the public record that is not exempt.In addition, the Police Chief or his designee shall notify the requester of any redaction or make the redaction plainly visible.

3.  Review of Routine Requests by the Springfield Township Fire Chief or his Designee. Public records requests involving routine fire reports such as Division of EMS Reports (if the person requesting the report is the patient or the patient’s attorney or representative.In the case of an attorney or representative request, a notarized release for those records executed by the patient must accompany the request), Inspection Reports, and Fire Incident Reports shall be immediately forwarded to the Fire Chief or his designee. The Fire Chief or his designee shall evaluate all requests forwarded to him to determine the extent of the request.If the request is extensive, involves an on-going fire investigation, is filed by the defendant in a criminal case, or otherwise requires legal review, the Fire Chief or his designee shall immediately forward the request to the Law Director for review.Otherwise, the Fire Chief or his designee shall review the request determine if the records requested are public records and whether any records deemed public contain information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or copying. In the event that the Fire Chief or his designee determines that a public record contains information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or copying, the Fire Chief of his designee shall make available all of the information within the public record that is not exempt.In addition, the Fire Chief or his designee shall notify the requester of any redaction or make the redaction plainly visible.

4. Review of Requests by the Springfield Township Law Director Requests for the production or inspection of documents which are not routine requests (including, but not limited to, requests seeking a voluminous number of copies or requiring extensive research) shall be immediately forwarded to the Springfield Township Law Director for review and determination.The Law Director shall evaluate all requests forwarded to her to determine the estimated length of time required to gather and review the records.In the event that the records request cannot be satisfied in three business days following the Township’s receipt of the request, the Law Director may contact the person making the request to acknowledge the request.It is the goal of Springfield Township that requests which cannot be fulfilled in 3 or fewer days be acknowledged in writing. In reviewing the request, the Law Director shall determine if the records requested are public records and whether any records deemed public contain information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or copying. In the event that the Law Director determines that a public record contains information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or copying, the Law Director shall make available all of the information within the public record that is not exempt. In addition, the Law Director shall notify the requester of any redaction or make the redaction plainly visible.


VI. Inspection of Public Records
Public records are to be available for inspection during regular business hours, with the exception of published holidays. Public records must be made available for inspection promptly.The determination of what is “prompt” shall take into account the volume of records requested; the proximity of the location where the records are stored; and the necessity for any legal review and redaction of the records requested. In order to ensure the integrity of its public records, Springfield Township will assign an employee to be present at all times during the inspection of its records.The employee will be present to ensure that the records are not damaged or removed and will not otherwise interfere with the requester’s access to and/or review of the records.Additionally, the employee present will not be permitted to interpret or explain any records or to gather any additional records requested beyond the original public records request.

VII. Provision of Copies of Public Records
Upon request, Springfield Township will provide copies of public records.Copies of public records must be made available within a reasonable period of time.The determination of what is a “reasonable period of time” shall take into account the volume of records requested; the proximity of the location where the records are stored; and the necessity for any legal review and redaction of the records requested. In responding to Public Records Requests, Springfield Township does not have an obligation to create new records or perform new analysis of existing information.An electronic record is deemed to exist so long as a computer is already programmed to produce the record through simple sorting, filtering, or querying.Although not required by law, Springfield Township may accommodate the requestor by generating new records when it makes sense and is practical under the circumstances. Requesters may choose to have the public record duplicated upon paper, upon the same medium upon which it was kept by Springfield Township, or upon any other medium upon which Springfield Township determines that it reasonably can be duplicated as an integral part of the normal operation of the Township’s business.

VIII. Cost of Copies of Public Records
Public records shall be provided at actual cost. In an effort to ensure that all persons are able to obtain public records, Springfield Township permits the duplication of up to five (5) letter or legal-sized paper pages of such records at no cost. Any person requesting the duplication of more than five (5) such pages, or making multiple requests totaling more than five (5) pages in one calendar year, will be charged five cents (5¢) per page for all pages beyond the initial five (5) pages. Persons requesting copies of Crash Reports (OH-1) for crashes in which they were involved, Ohio Uniform Incident Reports for incidents or offenses involving themselves or their property, or Division of EMS Reports in which they were the patient will not be charged any duplication fee for copies of these routine reports.If copies of additional records are requested and provided, the costs for those additional records shall be in accordance with the standard duplication costs set forth in this Section. The actual cost of copies of public records produced on computer disc shall be one dollar ($1.00).The actual cost of copies of public records produced on audiotape and/or videotapes reproduced by the Township shall be the cost of the audiotape or videotape and the reproduction costs, if any. If the records requested cannot be copied or reproduced on letter or legal-sized paper, or are photographs, audiotapes or videotapes, Springfield Township may have the records reproduced by a third party.Persons requesting the duplication of such records will be charged the actual cost of duplication as determined by the third party chosen by Springfield Township.

IX. Approval and Payment of Duplication
Costs All duplicating costs of public records other than letter or legal-sized paper documents must be approved, accepted, and paid by the requester in advance of the duplication of the records. All duplicating costs of public records must be paid by requester in advance of those records being delivered, transmitted, or provided to the requester or any person on the requester’s behalf.


X. Forwarding and Transmitting Copies of Public Records
Upon request, Springfield Township will transmit copies of public records by United States Mail or by such other delivery service as arranged or requested by the requester.Springfield Township will not transmit or deliver copies until such time as it has received payment for the entire cost of the copies as well as the cost of transmitting the copies (postage and mailing supplies). Except for public records requests which contain five (5) or less letter-sized paper documents, Springfield Township will not transmit copies of public records via facsimile transmission.Springfield Township will not transmit public records via e-mail.  

XI. Denial of Public Records Request
Springfield Township will deny public records requests when it determines that the records requested are not public records.Springfield Township will also deny public records requests that are ambiguous or overly broad such that the Township cannot reasonably identify what public records are being requested.In such cases, Springfield Township will provide the requester with an opportunity to revise the request by informing the requester of the manner in which records are maintained by Springfield Township and accessed in the ordinary course of the Township’s duties.

XII. Notification of Denial of Public Records Request
If a request is ultimately denied, in part or in whole, Springfield Township shall provide the requester with an explanation, including legal authority, setting forth why the request was denied. If the initial request was provided in writing, the explanation also shall be provided to the requester in writing.  

XIII. Posting of Public Records Policy
A copy of this Policy shall be received and acknowledged by the Township Administrator, the Township Assistant Administrator, the Human Resources Coordinator, the Township Receptionist, and such other personnel as may be periodically designated to coordinate public records requests.A copy of this Policy shall be included in the general policy and procedure manual of the Township and shall be posted in poster size in a conspicuous place in the Township Administrative and other offices.