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Ohio Legal Research

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Ohio Regulations

The legislature often passes broad based legislation that establishes a regulatory scheme. The nuts and bolts of the scheme will often not appear in the Ohio Revised Code. It is left to Ohio's administrative agencies to flesh out these laws and carry out the will of the legislature. Agencies do this by promulgating regulations, which are also referred to as rules. Regulations have the same force and effect as any law passed by the legislature.

The Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) is the principal means whereby the law embodied in rules is communicated.  The OAC is issued annually and contains the full text of, or reference to, every rule that has been adopted by the agencies of Ohio.  It is arranged by agency and is broken up into title, chapter and section numbers.  The official text of the administrative agency rules can be found in Baldwin's Ohio Administrative Code, which may be cited in the Courts of Ohio. 

The Ohio Monthly Record (OMR) gives notice to the public of repealed rules and proposed rules and publishes new and amended rules in chronological order on a monthly basis.  The library ceased its subscription to the OMR in June of 2020..

The Register of Ohio is used by agencies to give public notice of their intention to adopt a rule.  This notice includes a synopsis of the proposed rule, a statement of the agency's reason or purpose for proposing the rule, and the date, time and place of the public hearing.  The Register is an online only source which is updated weekly.  The Register is used to update the OAC and OMR in checking for new rules or recent changes to existing rules.

Finding Ohio Regulations - Print

1. To find an Ohio regulation, use the Ohio Administrative Code - OAC (Call Number KFO 35  .0451).
Turn to the Index located in the first volume of the set.

2. Locate the word(s) and phrases associated with your legal question, and write down the citation to the relevant section in the OAC. For example, if you wanted to find the regulations dealing with the replacement of coupons under the food stamp program, the index would lead you to administrative code rule number 5101:4-7-11.

3. Go to the volume of the OAC which has your Title and Chapter in it, and look up the relevant section.

4. The OAC is updated by yearly supplements typically in the back of each volume.

5. Check the Register of Ohio for new rules or recent changes to existing rules.  The website permits searching by agency so you can check what the agency has issued since the last publication date of the OAC.

Finding Ohio Regulations - Online

The OAC is available for free over the Internet, now sponsored by the Legislative Service Commission. The currency of the OAC is indicated on the site’s homepage.  The OAC also available to NKU Chase Law Students and Faculty through Lexis and Westlaw.

 To access the OAC through Westlaw:

1. Log on to Westlaw and choose the jurisdiction Ohio and then select Ohio Regulations.

2. You can browse the Table of Contents or search the database. 

3. Check the currency of the database by clicking on the information box 

4. Check the Register of Ohio for new rules or recent changes to existing rules.

 To access the OAC through Lexis:

1. Log on to Lexis and type in Ohio Administrative Code in the search box.

2. You can browse the Table of Contents or search the database.

3. Check the currency of the database by clicking on the information box
4. Check the Register of Ohio for new rules or recent changes to existing rules.

Web Sites

Citation Rules

OAC Citation