Coming Changes to ORC Will Significantly Undermine Municipal Authority Over Small Cell Wireless Facilities in the ROW

On December 7, 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed Substitute Senate Bill 331 (SB 331), which significantly impacts a municipality's ability to regulate the placement, construction, modification, and maintenance of "small cell" wireless facilities in the public right of way. As originally introduced, SB 331 only sought to regulate dog sales by pet stores and retailers. But as the Generally Assembly went into its lame duck session, additional provisions – completely unrelated to the original subject – were inserted into the legislation, including amendments to Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4939 intended to provide expedited access to municipal right-of-way (ROW) for small cell wireless providers. Governor Kasich signed the bill on December 19, 2016, and it will take effect in 90 days. [More]

Ohio Supreme Court Finds That Release of Police Body-Camera Video within Reasonable Period of Time not a Violation of Ohio Public Records Law

In State ex. rel. Cincinnati Enquirer, et al. v. Deters, Pros. Attorney, released on December 20, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court was faced with several important issues raised by the use by police departments of body-camera video. The Court determined that, assuming such video constitutes a "public record," public bodies are entitled to a reasonable amount of time to review the video for needed redactions before the video must be released. This case is a reminder that public bodies must be prepared for the age of ubiquitous video, which is upon us. [More]