Records of the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas, Probate and Juvenile Division, which are not exempt from disclosure, are available for inspection and copying in accordance with the Ohio Public Records Act. Copies of public records can be obtained from the Court during regular business hours.
Probate Court Records
The records of probate courts are generally public. Probate Court records that are not public include the records of civil commitment cases, adoption reports, and abortion notification bypass records.
Juvenile Court Records
The records of juvenile courts are generally not public. Parents, legal guardians, and attorneys representing the parties are permitted access to these records. Cases regarding juvenile traffic, delinquency, and unruly matters, including probation records, are not public. Cases regarding abused, neglected, and dependent children are not public. Parentage, support modification, and visitation cases are generally public.
Public Records Requests
You may view the public records you have requested at all reasonable times during the regular business hours of the Court. If you wish to view public records at the Court, we will promptly make them available to you. No original documents shall be removed from the court. The Court may require you to view original court records at the clerk's counter. If you wish to receive copies of records, the court will provide them within a reasonable period of time. "Prompt" and "reasonable" take into account the volume of records requested, the proximity of the location of where the records are stored, and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.
Once the Court has received your request, the Court will provide a response or acknowledge your request and provide you with an estimate of when you should expect the Court's response, an estimated cost if copies have been requested, and the items (if any) that the Court expects may be exempt from disclosure. If at any time prior to completing the Court's response, the Court determines that the response will take longer than initially estimated (because of the volume of records requested, the proximity of location of where the records are stored, or the complexity of the legal review), the Court will inform you of this change.
Ohio law states that you are not required to disclose your identity in your public records request, your reason for the request, or that you must make your request in writing.
If any portion of your request for records must be denied because the records are exempt from disclosure, the Court will inform you which records you have requested are not public by marking the portion "redacted," or the Court will explain which portion of the record(s) have been redacted. In addition, the Court will provide you with the legal authority upon which the Court has relied for such redaction. If the Court denied your request because it is overbroad, ambiguous, or does not reasonably identify the records you are requesting, the Court will provide you with information about how the Court's records are maintained, and, if you wish, you may revise your request for records.
Fees for Records Request Copies
The fee that covers the Court's direct cost for duplication of its public records is $.05 per page and $1.00 per CD or cassette tape. In addition, the actual cost of postage or other delivery may be charged. The Court may require payment of these fees prior to the processing of your request.
Request Public Records
Public records requests may be made to:
Judge of the Probate and Juvenile Court
ATTN: Deborah Watkins, Court Administrator
107 West Liberty Street
Wooster, Ohio 44691
If you are seeking information related to your own adoption, the adoption of your child, or you are an adult lineal descendant of an adoptee, please visit the Ohio Department of Health's Adoption File Information site by clicking here.
Benchmark E-Filing System
All users of the Court's Benchmark E-Filing System are cautioned to verify independently any information or data obtained from this website with the official court record information maintained by the office of the Wayne County Probate and Juvenile Courts. Not all records filed in a case may appear on the court's website or be made available to registered users and/or the public.
The information contained on this web site is not legal advice, nor should it substitute for the assistance of a qualified attorney. Good legal assistance can speed up the court process and prevent costly legal errors.