In a 4-3 decision, the Court ruled the Otterbein University Police Department can be compelled to produce public records because it employs sworn, state-certified police officers, who have the same arresting authority as municipal police or a county sheriff.
The state’s highest court denied the private university’s motion to dismiss the case, which was filed in February 2014 after the university police department denied Anna Schiffbauer’s public records request for 47 individuals’ criminal reports.
Attorney General Mike DeWine asked the Ohio Supreme Court to side with Otterbein University student journalist Anna Schiffbauer, who is seeking a court order to compel the private university’s police force to disclose arrest records.
A student journalist at Otterbein University is asking the Ohio Supreme Court for help in the student newspaper’s effort to obtain records from the private university’s police force.
A year ago, Jordan Bradley detailed in the SPLC Report how student journalists at Otterbein University have had difficulty gaining access to campus police reports.The troubles started in 2011, when the Ohio school's security team was converted into a commissioned police force, said Hillary Warren, who advises The Tan & Cardinal. Then, campus police began responding to incidents that city police once handled. At first, campus police didn't release any records, even those required under the Jeanne Clery Act, Warren told us.