Ohio Supreme Court Revises Lawsuit Over Dashcam Video Recordings in DUI/Drunk Driving Case

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Appellant Mark Miller filed an action in the Ohio District Court of Appeals claiming that he had sent a public records (FOIA) request to the Ohio State Highway Patrol on September 9, 2011. Miller attached an undated to his legal complaint. The letter authored by Miller requested a number of records from the Highway Patrol, some of which were related to a trooper Joseph Westhoven during the summer of 2011. Miller asserted that none of the records sought in the letter are exempt from disclosure under the Ohio public records act. Miller went on to allege that while the patrol had provided some of the requested documents, it had specifically refused to produce several requested records which it claimed were not subject to disclosure. The only records not produced, and at issue in this action, are video and audio recordings from Trooper Westhoven's police car and impaired driver reports dealing with the traffic stop, detention, arrest, and transportation of Ashley Ruberg in mid July of 2011.

The Ohio State Patrol confirmed that it had refused to provide the records requested regarding Ruberg's arrest and explained that the refusal was based on its belief that the documents were "investigative work product for an ongoing criminal investigation"; and accordingly, were not subject to disclosure under the Ohio public records act. Under the exception the Ohio State Highway Patrol has refused to release the dashcam audio and video recordings of Roberts detention and arrest.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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