A Certificate of Records Disposal documents that records are destroyed in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code in the normal course of business. The certificate is the way a county office seeks the permission of the citizens of Montgomery County, through the Records Commission, to destroy public records. Thus, all offices have a management and legal responsibility to complete and file the certificate in a timely manner with the Records Commission.
The Certificate of Records Disposal is used in conjunction with a Records Retention Schedule. Only records that are listed on a current or past retention schedule can be destroyed using a Certificate of Records Disposal. A Certificate of Disposal should be used regardless of the format--paper, film or electronic--the records are in.
The completed certificate should be sent to the County Records & Information Manager at the Records Center & Archives. It is necessary that all the information on the certificate be filled in completely so that the County Records & Information Manager can be assured that the records are, indeed, eligible to be destroyed. Once the certificate is received, the County Records & Information Manager will check the office's Records Retention Schedule or the General Schedule of County Records to make sure the records are eligible for destruction. If the records are not eligible to be destroyed, the County Records & Information Manager will call the office's contact person to explain what corrections need to be made and then return the rejected certificate.
It is best that records are destroyed when their retention period is up. Destroying records in accordance with the retention periods on the Records Retention Schedule prevents the costly collection of unneeded and unnecessary paper and data. However, if a record is involved in litigation or if there is a legal hold imposed by the Prosecuting Attorney's Office or outside counsel, the record is not to be destroyed, regardless of what the retention period of the record is.