Ohio Public Records

Ohio is the largest city and state capital of Columbus. It has clear provisions for the sharing of the records it has been keeping since 1800s before it become a U.S. State.

Ohio has been keeping records since early 1800s and it considers the information contained in most of these records as public property. The state established common law that grants the public access to public records in 1901. The state law made the common law official with the Open Records Law which was established in 1963. The Open Records Law is preserved under Chapter 149.43 of Title 1 of the State Code.

According to the law, any person has the right to copy or inspect records in Ohio. The purpose of the request is not relevant, and the records may be used for any reason once accessed.

Public records that are included under the law include records from any Ohio public office, including the judicial, legislative, and executive branches.

Ohio Criminal Records

The Office of the Attorney General and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is responsible for conducting background checks in Ohio. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation provides fingerprint-based checks electronically through WebCheck systems for pre-employment, licensing, and other public safety decisions. There are about 100 deputy registration locations where you WebCheck background services in Ohio.

Arrest records and inmate records are also available for sharing. Information regarding the prison system in the state is also available for sharing. You can find jail and inmate records, learn more about the services for victims, or search for an offender on the Ohio Department of Corrections website. There is a search page which will let you to enter Zip Code, DOC, Status, County, Name and any other search code whenever you are searching for an offender or when looking for jail and inmate records. The results will include information search as the offender’s location, earliest release date, Admission date, offense information, and a photo if available.

Ohio Court Records

You can obtain any information about Ohio court records and courts on cases within the state of Ohio from the administrator of courts website. You can search for Supreme Court cases through the specific court’s online database. OhioCourts.org is another website with links to several other courts in Ohio and records searches are also available for most of those courts. You can obtain copies of case files by making a request through the clerk of the court in the courthouse where the case was heard.

Ohio Vital Records

You can obtain Ohio Vital Records, such as death certificates and birth certificates from the Ohio Department of Health, or from the Vital Statistics Office.

  • Birth records: County-level registration of births began in 1897 and their records were maintained by the probate court. Some counties had been recording births as early as about 1840. The statewide registration of births began in 1908. The records prior to 1908 are available from appropriate probate court in the city or county where the birth was recorded.
  • Death records: Ohio introduced state-wide registration of deaths in 1897 and all the records were maintained by the probate court. There are earlier death records dating back to early 1840s. You can obtain death records before this date from the appropriate probate court.
  • Marriage records: State-wide registration of marriages began in 1949. The Division of Vital Statistics stores the records from 1949. Each Ohio County has a probate judge whose duty is to file the original marriage records. Every county currently maintains its own marriage index. Microfilm records for every county up to 1910 are available at the Family History Library. Some marriage records prior to 1876 are also available here.
  • Divorce records: Divorce records in Ohio are maintained by the Office of Vital Records. In 2015, the divorce rate was at 3.1 per 1,000 inhabitants.

The state of Ohio has very few requirements for obtaining the state public records. You should not have any problem accessing and copying the information contained in Ohio public records.

Ohio State Court System

Understanding how the system of Ohio state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.

Ohio Courts Overview

To make your work easier, start searching for court records in Ohio by simply going to courts by county.

The trial court system of Ohio State consists of Court of Claims, Mayor’s Courts, Municipal Courts, County Courts, and Courts of Common Pleas.

Courts of Common Pleas

These courts have general jurisdiction to handle all types of cases, but generally handle only the cases that other courts have no jurisdiction over. They have original jurisdiction to handle felonies as well as civil cases that involve more than $15,000 in dispute. Civil claims with less than $1,000 are usually transferred to Municipal Courts. Besides, Courts of Common Pleas also have limited jurisdiction over domestic relations, estate/probate, mental health, and juvenile cases.

Each Court of Common Pleas can have special separate divisions for juvenile, general, cases, domestic relations and probate cases.

The Domestic Relations Division generally handles child support, child custody, and divorce. The General Division handles cases such as appeals from various administrative agencies, criminal cases, and civil cases.

The Probate Division, also known as Probate Court in most counties, handles cases that include trusts, wills, estates, adoptions, mental illness, and guardianships.

The Juvenile Division deals with cases that include most paternity cases, offenses that involve minors. Juvenile Divisions may share jurisdiction over child support and child custody with the Domestic Relations Division.

County Courts

Ohio County Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases in territories that are not within a Municipal Court’s jurisdiction. Criminal cases generally heard by these courts include felony preliminary hearings, traffic and non-traffic misdemeanors, some parking violations, and most township resolutions violations.

Civil cases generally heard by these courts include most general civil claims with less than $15,000 in dispute. They have original jurisdiction over cases for less than $15,000 in dispute, and exclusive jurisdiction in cases that involve less than $500.

Civil cases generally heard by these courts include contract cases, certain nuisance cases, temporary protection orders, certain types of cases connected with boundaries or title of real estate, forcible entry and detainer, judgment collection actions, and actions for the recovery of personal property or money.

Municipal Courts

Ohio Municipal Courts have jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases. Typical criminal cases that these courts handle include some parking violations, violations of municipal ordinances, preliminary hearings for felony, traffic and non-traffic misdemeanors, and most violations of the township resolutions.

Civil cases that these courts handle include cases where no involved part is seeking more than $15,000, general civil claims with less than $15,000 in dispute, and cases that involve less than $500.

Civil cases generally heard by these courts include contract cases, certain nuisance cases, temporary protection orders, certain types of cases connected with boundaries or title of real estate, forcible entry and detainer, judgment collection actions, and actions for the recovery of personal property or money.

Municipal Courts have Small Claims divisions for handling civil cases involving recovery of up to $300. A Municipal Court may also have a Housing or Environmental division for handling some criminal cases and civil cases involving any amount of money in dispute.

Mayor’s Courts

Ohio Mayor’s Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of quasi-criminal and criminal cases in areas that don’t fall under the jurisdiction of an Ohio Municipal Court. Cases heard by these courts include some traffic cases, some parking violations, and violations of municipal ordinances.

Court of Claims

This court has original jurisdiction to handle civil cases filed against the agencies of the state or the state itself. Typical cases heard by this court include property damage, wrongful imprisonment, discrimination, personal injury, and contract disputes. It operates from a location in Columbus but hears cases for the entire State of Ohio.

The Official Website of Ohio County

Columbus City of Columbus
Cleveland City of Cleveland
Cincinnati City of Cincinnati The City of Cincinnati government is dedicated to maintaining the highest quality of life for the people of Cincinnati. The City is focused on economic development to create jobs, committed to innovation and efficiency through technology, seeks to be a leader in environmental sustainability, and pursues partnerships to help create opportunities that benefit the city’s diverse residents, businesses and visitors.
Toledo City of Toledo
Akron City of Akron
Dayton
Parma Welcome to the City of Parma, Ohio Welcome to the City of Parma, Ohio
Canton The City of Canton, Ohio – cantonohio.gov The official home page of the City of Canton, Ohio. Home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Youngstown City of Youngstown, Ohio Municipal website for the City of Youngstown, Ohio.
Lorain Lorain, OH | Official Website
Hamilton Hamilton, OH | Official Website
Springfield City of Springfield – Official Website Springfield, Ohio is a historically rich city promoting business growth and community development.
Kettering Kettering
Elyria city of elyria ohio
Lakewood The City of Lakewood, Ohio
Cuyahoga County The Official Government Website of Cuyahoga County The Official Government Website of Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Franklin County Franklin County, Ohio
Hamilton County Hamilton County, Ohio Welcome to Hamilton County, Ohio – the home county of the Greater Cincinnati region. Like our namesake, Alexander Hamilton, we have a feisty spirit that has helped leave our indelible mark on America. You’ll see our strong Midwestern values- tough, hardworking, and polite- in the people that call this County home.
Summit County THE COUNTY OF SUMMIT WEBSITE County of Summit, Ohio
Lucas County Lucas County, OH – Official Website
Stark County Stark County Government
Butler County Welcome to Butler County Ohio!
Lorain County LorainCounty.com | It’s all about Lorain County … It’s all about you!™
Mahoning County Mahoning County, OH | Official Website
Lake County Lake County, Ohio
Warren County Warren County Ohio
Clermont County Clermont County Ohio Government
Medina County Medina County Ohio – Official Government Website Newsletter Sign-Up
Licking County Licking County
Greene County Greene County, OH – Official Website
Portage County Portage County OH
Fairfield County Fairfield County, Ohio Official Website Fairfield County, Ohio Official Website. Lancaster, Ohio court offices and agencies.
Clark County Clark County, OH – Official Website
Wood County Wood County, Ohio
Richland County Richland County, Ohio Richland County, Ohio
Wayne County Wayne County Ohio | Government Agency Located in Wooster, Ohio Wayne County Ohio website. Complete information for those visiting, moving to, or living in the Wooster/Wayne County area. Participants include the City of Wooster, Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Wooster, Wayne County, Wayne County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Wayne Development Council.
Columbiana County Columbiana County
Allen County Allen County Ohio
Miami County Miami County, OH – Official Website
Ashtabula County Ashtabula County, OH – Official Website
Geauga County Geauga County
Tuscarawas County Welcome to Tuscarawas County, Ohio
Ross County Ross County Ohio
Erie County Erie County
Belmont County Belmont County Ohio
Marion Countyt Marion Countyt
Athens County Welcome to Athens County, Ohio
Lawrence County Lawrence County, Ohio || LawrenceCountyOhio.org LawrenceCountyOhio.org is your portal to the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and associated entities. (Ohio)
Washington County Washington County, OH – Official Website
Sandusky County Sandusky County, Ohio – Sandusky County, Ohio

Ohio Arrests and Inmate Search

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Offender Search Ohio Department of Corrections
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