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Opinions

2024-002

Requested by: Knox County Prosecuting Attorney
A board of township trustees lacks authority to establish a death benefit payable directly from township funds to the family of a township employee who dies while so employed.

2024-001

Requested by: Holmes County Prosecuting Attorney
If dogs under the age of eight weeks old are sold directly to the public, R.C. 955.50(A) does not apply. However, if dogs under the age of eight weeks old are sold for the purpose of being resold or placed into commerce, R.C. 955.50(A) does apply. Whether this statute applies to high volume dog breeders depends on to whom and for what purpose the dogs are sold. Finally, whether there is any payment made is irrelevant to the analysis because it is not in the statute.

2023-009

Requested by: Geauga County Prosecuting Attorney
The duties of the county records commission, county microfilming board, and county recorder acting as chief administrator of the county microfilming board cannot be delegated to the board of county commissioners. Because the duties of the county records commission and the county microfilming board cannot be delegated, they may only be transferred pursuant to the procedure outlined in R.C. 307.847. There is no explicit or implicit authority in the Revised Code for the county microfilming board to contract for services with its own county’s board of county commissioners; instead, the county microfilming board is statutorily required to provide these services to the board of county commissioners.

2023-008

Requested by: Licking County Prosecuting Attorney
The county dog warden has no mandatory duty to accept and impound unregistered dogs voluntarily brought to the county-operated dog shelter by a non-owner. The county dog warden has the discretion to accept and impound registered or unregistered dogs voluntarily brought to the county-operated dog shelter by a non-owner.

2023-007

Requested by: Scioto County Prosecuting Attorney
Subject to approval by the court of common pleas, the county sheriff is authorized to promulgate rules and policies to deny an arrestee admission to the county jail when the jail physician determines that off-site treatment is required as a matter of medical necessity, and the medical costs of an arrestee denied admission to the county jail are borne by the custodial law-enforcement agency. If an arrestee is denied admission to the county jail based on medical necessity, custody remains with the outside law-enforcement officer and that officer is responsible for transporting and guarding the arrestee at the off-site medical facility.

2023-006

Requested by: Greene County Prosecuting Attorney
The Ohio Civil Rights Commission cannot authoritatively interpret R.C. 4112.02(G), which does not prohibit operators of public accommodations from adopting policies that limit communal restrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms to members of a single sex. Whether a restroom, changing room, or locker room that is open to the public and located in a facility owned by a governmental entity is considered a “public accommodation” under R.C. 4112.01(A)(9) for purposes of R.C. 4112.02(G) is a question of fact that must be determined by the courts. Political subdivisions and their employees can be liable for violations of R.C. 4112.02(G).

2023-005

Requested by: Ashtabula County Prosecuting Attorney
A county official cannot perform maintenance or make repairs to county-owned buildings and offices and improvements over the objection of the board of county commissioners, and if funds are not being used in the manner for which they were appropriated, the board of county commissioners may stop the repairs and the expenditure of funds. Members of the board of county commissioners have the ability to access county-owned buildings and offices to oversee maintenance and repairs.

2023-004

Requested by: Muskingum County Prosecuting Attorney
Because R.C. 3335.37 specifically mandates that money obtained from a tax levy or from the general fund of the county be paid into the Ohio State University Extension fund, a county cannot directly distribute the funds to the Ohio State University Extension office in the county, and a board of county commissioners has no authority to charge the Ohio State University Extension rent or utilities for the county office space provided to it pursuant to R.C. 3335.36.

2023-003

Requested by: Highland County Prosecuting Attorney
Neither landowners nor fence-builders can demand the removal of most trees situated within four feet of a partition fence pursuant to R.C. 971.33. The term “trees for use” in R.C. 971.33 refers to trees that are planted for a particular purpose, and whether a particular tree is “for use” is a question of fact for the courts.

2023-002

Requested by: Butler County Prosecuting Attorney
No statute directly mandates or authorizes the recording of a memorandum of contract between a real-estate broker and homeowner in which the homeowner agrees that the broker will be the listing agent if the homeowner sells his home within the next forty years. Therefore, it is within the county recorder’s discretion to determine if the memorandum of contract is a type of instrument required or authorized by the Revised Code to be recorded and/or whether the submitted memorandum of contract is materially false or fraudulent. See R.C. 317.13(B).

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