Tuesday, January 18, 2005
The Cincinnati Enquirer has been denied its request for an order requiring that the city of Cincinnati's health department release the names and other information about property owners in violation of the city's "no lead" provisions. Since 1994 the city has targeted these owners; in 2004 the newspaper asked the city for a list of names. The city refused, citing HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). On December 30, 2004 the First Appellate District Court of Appeals (Hamilton County) decided in favor of the city, citing the state's Public Records Act (R.C. 149.43) as well as HIPAA. The court recognized that competing interests were at stake, but found that the city met its burden of showing an exception to disclosure by referring to medical information included that could be protected from disclosure under the state's public records act. Since the information was unredacted and no waivers were provided for, the court upheld the city's refusal to disclose at this time. Here is the case: State ex rel. Cincinnati Enquirer v. Adcock, Ohio Ct. App., No. C-0400064, decided Dec. 30, 2004.