The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office must turn over the autopsy records of an infant to her father, who is serving 15 years to life for the murder of the child, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today.
A divided Supreme Court determined that a provision of Ohio public records law that requires
incarcerated persons, who request public records, to comply with certain requirements before being granted access to those records does not apply to the request of a deceased’s person’s next of kin to the coroner for records of the deceased person.
Justice Sharon L. Kennedy, the author of the Court’s lead opinion, wrote that the plain language of the statuteregarding coroner’s records is clear that the next of kin is entitled to the records. She concluded that if the legislature had intended to prevent the father from getting the records, then the General Assembly has the right to take note of today’s decision and amend the law.
Justice Kennedy’s decision granting Michael Clay the records was joined by Justices Terrence O’Donnell and R. Patrick DeWine.