REPORTERS COMMITEE for FREEDOM of the PRESS - "CAN WE TAPE" - in CLEVELAND OHIO TREMONT - "YES WE CAN"

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Fri, 05/06/2011 - 22:00.

It is not a crime to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication if the person recording is a party to the conversation, if one party has consented to taping, or if the conversation is not taped for the purpose of committing a criminal or tortious offense. Ohio Rev. Code ann. § 2933.52. Under the statute, consent is not required to tape a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. See definition of “oral communication,” Ohio Rev. Code ann. § 2933.51(b). The Ohio Supreme Court has held that prisoners do not have a reasonable expectation in their communications, for purposes of the wiretapping law. State v. Robb, 723 N.E.2d 1019 (Ohio 2000).

Cordless telephone conversations purposely picked up by a neighbor’s baby monitor were considered “oral communications,” accompanied by a reasonable expectation of privacy. Ohio v. Bidinost, 644 N.E.2d 318 (Ohio 1994).

Illegal interceptions are felonies and also carry potential civil liability for the greater of actual damages, $200 per day of violation or $10,000, along with punitive damages, attorney fees, and litigation expenses. There is a two-year statute of limitations to bring a civil action. Ohio Rev. Code ann. § 2933.65.

Ohio also has anti-voyeurism law that prohibits surreptitiously invading a person’s privacy for sexual purposes. Ohio Rev. Code ann. §2907.08.


http://www.rcfp.org/taping/states/ohio.html

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"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always." - Mahatma Gandhi

 

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There's another question to

There's another question to be considered here:

How much of the TWDC audio/video recording issues have to do with the taped conversation Angel Cuevas has of Cimperman making promises to him for allocating discretionary funds to Angel for landscaping and fencing?

Now, the Councilman is going back on his word and Angel informed TWDC Exec. Dir. Chris Garland and Board Pres. Chris Alvarado on Thursday that CD copies of the conversation were sent directly to the FBI and that an agent was being assigned to investigate.

 

 

149.43 Availability of

149.43 Availability of public records for inspection and copying

An Ohio Attorney General's Opinion states that audio or video recording of meetings is permissible. 1988 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 88-087.

 

121.22 Public meetings - exceptions.

Ohio Law on Recording Court Hearings and Public Meetings

For information on your right of access to court proceedings, please consult the Access to Government Information section of the guide.

Public Meetings

While the Ohio open records law does not specifically state whether you can use recording devices at a public meeting (i.e., a meeting of a governmental body required to be open to the public by law), the Ohio Attorney General has an issued an opinion stating that using them is permissible when it does not unduly interfere with the meeting. As a matter of practice, recording devices apparently are common in Ohio public meetings.

_________________________________________________________

Ohio’s Open Meetings Act defines a “meeting” as (1) a prearranged discussion (2) of public business (3) by a majority of the members of a public body. The law enables people to witness what government officials are doing on the public’s behalf. 

While the law is to be read broadly to require the members of government bodies to take official action and deliberate only in open meetings,1 courts generally have not interpreted it to prohibit informal conversations.2 In the first scenario above, the Brighton village council members who make up a majority when they get together for their standing breakfast appointment may touch on council business without violating the law if it is clear that they are not deliberating or conducting public business in secret.3

When a public body creates a committee, the sub-group is usually considered a “public body” in its own right, with its own majority and the same obligations the primary body has to provide notice, ensure openness and keep minutes.  Thus, the Finance Committee in this example is a public body and is holding a meeting.  Members of the primary public body who do not belong to the committee are not explicitly prohibited from attending committee meetings, but participation is key. In the second scenario above, the curious commission member who sits with other observers and does not participate or influence the committee members in any way most likely does not create a majority of the full Open Government Commission. On the other hand, if the commissioner attends as a guest, joins committee members at the table and takes part in the discussion, she may create a majority of the commission itself, triggering separate obligations for notice, openness and minutes for the full Open Government Commission. 5

A “meeting” by another name—“retreat,” “workshop,” “planning session”—is still a “meeting” for purposes of the Open Meetings Act if a majority of members gather for a prearranged discussion of the public’s business.6 Once the new members of the Marigold School Board take office and gather with the rest of the group to talk about their new responsibilities and long-range plans, the public has the right to hear what they are saying, even if no voting or other action occurs. By its terms, with narrow exceptions, the Open Meetings Act requires the members of a public body to discuss and deliberate on official business only in open meetings.7

TWDC BY-LAWS - THE MEMBERSHIP IS THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY

In examining the applicability of the Sunshine Law to private organizations, the courts have generally considered whether there has been a delegation of the public agency’s governmental or legislative functions or whether the private organization plays an integral part in the public agency’s decision-making process.

Non-Profit Organizations and Open Meeting Laws

An excerpt from Open Meetings Laws 2d:

Purely private entities are typically not within the scope of open meeting acts. Private entities that work for or with a government are not necessarily subject to the open meeting law by virtue of that relationship. Nonprofit corporations organized to support or assist governmental entities are typically not subject to open meeting laws. Special circumstances may arise, however, if the private entity is receiving public funds and acting as a governmental agency or has been delegated decision-making power by a public body. A public entity that is subject to the open meeting act cannot escape the obligations imposed by the act by changing its name through an incorporation with little other change. The absence of a specific reference to corporations in the definition of the entities subject to the law does not necessarily mean that they cannot be subject to the law.

Although none is determinative standing alone as a general rule, relevant factors that may be considered in determining whether private entities should be subject to open meeting law requirements include:

  • the manner in which the entity was created and the public or private character of the person(s) who created it,
  • the manner in which the members of the governing body of the private entity are selected, the presence of members of a public body as members of the governing body of the private entity, and whether public members constitute a majority on the private governing body,
  • the character of the powers exercised by the public entity in relation to traditional governmental powers,
  • whether the functions performed by the private entity would otherwise be performed by a public body, or were performed by the public body before the creation of the private entity,
  • whether the activities of the private entity are carried out on public property,
  • the extent to which public entities may control the entity in question and the extent to which the entity is autonomous,
  • whether the entity is subject to government audits or otherwise has its business procedures supervised by a governmental body,
  • whether the entity is a nonprofit or a for profit entity,
  • whether the entity is exempt from the obligation to pay taxes for reasons other than incorporation as a nonprofit corporation,
  • the governmental and private sources of its funding, their character and amount, whether public and private funds are commingled, and the reason for the payment to the private entity,
  • whether the private entity would continue to exist and function if its relationship with the public body terminated,
  • whether the private entity would be deemed an arm of the state under the Eleventh Amendment or would be entitled to assert other governmental immunities,
  • whether a contract or statute specifically identifies the corporation or other private entity as subject to the law, and
  • a combination of these factors.

Even within a single state, interpretations vary as to the application of the open meeting law to private entities, and one can often find seemingly or actually inconsistent decisions that make difficult any effort to predict the result as to another entity. The specific criteria for determining whether a particular entity is public or private . . . depends on the specific statutory purposes for which the determination is being made. Thus it is possible for the same entity to be public for one statutory purpose and private for another.

Have faith to keep speaking up...

United we stand, divided we fall....keep up the great work citizens of Cleveland....

The people appreciate your hard work on their behalf! 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"