Ohio - Judge Rules That Free Newspapers Can Compete to Publish Legal Notices

A Common Pleas judge in Ohio has ruled that a free newspaper can publish legal notices in Darke County, Ohio. The Ohio statute, unlike most other states does not require explicitly that paid circulation publications are the only vehicle for public notices.  The statute was changed in 2011. The next step will be to allow online publications which have more readers and would lower costs for municipalities nationwide, the right to compete as well. Newspaper trade associations have lobbied successfully to keep notices in print. This case has already been appealed once and was remanded back to the trial court for procedural reasons according to an article in AP article in Columbus CEO Magazine . According to the article, this time when the case is appealed the court of appeals will need to address the actual statute.   As paid circulation publications continue to lose subscribers, perhaps free publications will provide greater access to the public for legal notices and save us all money.