The Law Library Staff prepares "Frequently Asked Questions" for the convenience of our users to provide access to a variety of sources addressing particular points of law. These are general legal information sources, and are not to be construed as a substitute for personal legal advice from an attorney. Please seek legal counsel to help you determine the applicability of any of the information in these resources to your specific situation. The Law Library makes no recommendation as to whether you should purchase any services offered by the websites contained in this FAQ.
National Center for State Courts: Links to statutes, rules, articles and dockets for the fifty states and U.S. Federal Court.
Freedom of Information Act Reading Rooms: This blog entry from the Moritz Legal Information Blog provides links to electronic reading rooms for eleven federal departments and agencies. The reading rooms contain response materials, and sometimes contain frequently requested documents.
Department of Justice FOIA: Besides FOIA for the Department of Justice, this site provides links to the FOIA sites for other federal agencies.
Looking for Sunshine: Protecting Your Right to Know: Information on state and federal sunshine laws and Freedom of Information Act requests.
Society of Professional Journalists: Open Door: FAQs on various aspects of FOI law, and an alphabetical list of FOI issues involving particular types of documents.
Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas: FOIA request forms, links and free 1-800 hotline.
Poynter Online: Everything you need to be a better journalist. Toledo Blade, Cincinnati Enquirer, Cleveland PD plus 40 other papers pulled together to do this series on Ohio’s open records.
The Art of Public Records Research: from the Virtual Chase. Discusses what is a public record and what is private information.
Westlaw ASSET-ALL database: For a fee, this database searches for real property, motor vehicles, stock, aircraft, or watercraft in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin islands.
Butler County Clerk Statewide Property Search: Links to recorder's office for each county in Ohio.
Medina County Auditor: Links to the auditor's website for each Ohio County.
Statewide Real Estate Tax Search: Also from Butler County Clerk's office, links to county auditors' offices.
Neo Cando: Property, tax and transfer information for properties in Northeast Ohio. Search by address, parcel number, census tract, ward or city.
Also, try some of the other public records portals, listed above, such as NETRonline.
Lexis ALLOWN: for a fee, searches Tax Assessor, Deed Transfer and Mortgage Records for selected states and counties. Can search all states and counties available at once.
Lexis OHOWN: for a fee searches Ohio tax assessor records, deed transfer and mortgage records. Has real property data for 47 counties, which can be search simultaneously.
Westlaw RP-ALL: Fee database: Tax assessor records, county recorder's records and registrars of deeds records. Includes records for transfer of property as well as foreclosure records. Coverage varies by county. Can search on Ohio database separately.
OPENonline: For a fee, one can search real property records for 45 Ohio counties. Can also run searches for 44 other states, with records from selected counties in those states.
Ohio Department of Public Safety Online Vehicle/Watercraft Title Inquiry: Search for an owner of a watercraft by title number or VIN number.
Ohio Department of Public Safety Online Vehicle/Watercraft Title Inquiry: Search by title number or VIN number.
Carfax.com: Free search will tell you the year and make a vehicle, when a VIN number is entered. There are free searches for manufacturers buy backs under lemon laws, and for recalls. For a fee, you can find out how many people owned the vehicle and for how long, whether there are title problems, odometer problems and whether the car was in an accident or stolen. Carfax reports DO NOT provide the names of the former owners.
Lexis, Westlaw and OPENonline also have motor vehicle searches for a fee. One can search for a person's name, unlike the BMV site above, to see what vehicles they own. The OPENonline site requires knowledge of the person's social security number.
National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators: Search for unclaimed property in thirty-five states at once, find search engines for each state.
Ohio Department of Commerce Online Treasure Hunt: To find unclaimed funds held by the State of Ohio. After five years, funds held by county or local governments are required to be turned over to the Ohio Department of Commerce. See ORC 9.39 and the Cuyahoga County Treasurer's Webpage.
County Unclaimed Funds: Check for money not yet
transferred to the State, or money not reported to the State. Contact the County Auditor's office or Treasurer's office.
FAQ Unclaimed Money and Assets: From the United States Treasury Department. Includes links to online databases to find unclaimed U.S. securities and payments, HUD/FHA mortgage insurance refunds, credit union unclaimed shares and pension funds from former employers (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Missing Participant Search). Provides a link to the United States Government Manual, which provides contact information for federal agencies.
National Sex Offender Public Registry: Can search for names of sex offenders in multiple state databases at once. Does not have access to all states at this time. Can also generate lists of sex offenders by zip code or city.
FBI's State Sex Offender Registries: provides links to state sex offender databases.
If there is a permissible purpose for obtaining the information, the past three years of OVI offenses can be obtained from OPENonline.
Know-X Civil Lawsuit Finder: For a small fee, you can search multiple county courts in a state at once. Contains some jurisdictions not available on Lexis filings database.
Cleveland Law Library: Bankruptcy FAQ: How to find bankruptcy case information.
Statewide Court Records Search: The Butler County Clerk's office provides links to the docket of each county common pleas court.
Cleveland Law Library: Links to Ohio dockets and court websites.
Lexis has "filings" databases for federal district courts, bankruptcy courts and some state courts. An entry for each case will include case name, attorney name, name of judge, date filed and type of case (subject matter).
Court House News: A subscription database which provides information on new cases filed in certain courts. New case information is provided for Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas, and others.
Cuyahoga County Voter Search: When name and dob is entered, yields address of voter and polling location.
FECInfo: (Political Money Line) provides a donor look-up for federal campaign contributors.
Professional License Verifier: Verify State-Issued Professional and Occupational Licenses.
Ohio License Center: Obtain license information for numerous professions in Ohio. Can search by name, license number or business name.
Ohio.gov Professional License Verification: Lists professions and provides links to search engines for license verification.
ABA - Directory of Lawyer Disciplinary Agencies: Provides phone numbers and sometimes web addresses for lawyer disciplinary agencies in the fifty states.
National Lawyer Regulatory Databank: For a fee, one can search nationwide for disciplinary actions against an attorney.
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) BrokerCheck: Contains information gleaned from industry registration and license Forms BD and U-4. Address and registration information is available immediately. Information on disclose events (convictions, bankruptcies, etc. can be delivered in two days.
Ohio Department of Commerce: Securities Division: Background Checks.
Ohio Disciplinary Actions: The Accountancy Board of Ohio lists disciplinary actions from 1990 to the present, as a result of formal hearings conducted under Chapter 119 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Search Systems.net: To find license look-ups for other states, click on the state in question, and look for Licenses: Accountants. If the state does not provide an electronic look-up, call the Accountancy Board.
AICPA Links to State Board of Accountancy: The state board of accountancy has information on licensing and discipline of accountants.
SSN Validator: Tells whether a Social Security Number is valid.
Search Bug: Tells whether a Social Security Number is valid.
Social Security Death Index: Verifies social security numbers for deceased people.
Resources for Social Security Numbers: by SearchEngineZ. Contains a table showing the first three digits of the social security number, and which ones correspond to which state. This page identifies eight states that use Social Security Numbers as drivers license numbers, but this practice has been outlawed by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.
Social Security Number Verification: The Social Security Administration runs this site. Employers input names and social security numbers, to verify the social security numbers. Site requires registration.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: "My Social Security Number: How Secure is It?" - discusses whether you must provide the government or a business with your social security number.
Your Access to Free Credit Reports: Information from the Federal Trade Commission on how to obtain your free annual credit report. (Credit reports are not public records)
Federal Government's Excluded Party List: Find out if person has been blocked from receiving certain types of financial or nonfinancial assistance from the federal government or is blocked from applying for government contracts.
National Archives Historical Military Personnel Information: Most information dates from the 1981 and before. Includes military honors, deaths, wounded and POW information.
August 16, 2004 -