1901.141 Special constables.

(A)

(1) Upon the written application of the director of administrative services or of at least three freeholders of the territory, a municipal judge may appoint one or more electors who are residents of the county as special constables, but only if either of the following applies:

(a) The territory within the jurisdiction of the municipal court served by the municipal court judge is contiguous to territory within the jurisdiction of a county court, the judge of that county court has appointed a special constable to guard and protect territory abutting territory in the municipal court's jurisdiction, and the abutting territory within the municipal court's jurisdiction is the property within the application for which a special constable is being sought.

(b) The territory within the jurisdiction of the municipal court served by the municipal court judge is coextensive with the boundaries of the county in which the court is located, and the municipal court is a successor court of a county court that previously served that county.

(2) In order to be eligible to serve as a special constable under this section, an elector shall hold a valid certificate issued by the Ohio peace officer training commission.

The special constables shall guard and protect from unlawful acts the property of the state specified in the application or the property of the applicant-freeholders and any property of the state under lease to the applicant-freeholders specified in the application. To the extent necessary to carry out the responsibility to guard and protect the property involved, a special constable shall have the same authority and shall be subject to the same obligations as a peace officer, as defined in section 2935.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) A municipal judge who appoints a special constable pursuant to division (A) of this section shall make a memorandum of the appointment upon the docket of the court. The appointment shall continue in force for one year unless the judge revokes it before the expiration of that one-year period. The applicant-freeholders for whose benefit a special constable is appointed shall pay the special constable in full for the special constable's services, and the special constable shall receive no compensation except from those applicant-freeholders.

If a municipal judge wishes to reappoint an elector for a successive one-year period, before the elector may be appointed the elector shall have successfully completed a firearms requalification program approved by the executive director of the Ohio peace officer training commission in accordance with rules adopted by the attorney general under section 109.743 of the Revised Code.

(C) A municipal judge who appoints a special constable pursuant to division (A) of this section, the municipal court on which the judge sits, the legislative authority associated with that court, and all political subdivisions within the territory of that court are not liable in damages in any tort or other civil action for injury, death, or loss to person or property allegedly caused by any act or omission of the special constable that relates to the special constable's official responsibility to guard and protect property.

(D) A special constable appointed pursuant to division (A) of this section is not liable in damages in any tort or other civil action for injury, death, or loss to person or property allegedly caused by an act or omission of the special constable that relates to the special constable's official responsibility to guard and protect property, unless the act or omission was committed or omitted with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner. The state, if the director of administrative services requested the appointment of the special constable, or the applicant-freeholders, if freeholders requested the appointment of the special constable, shall be jointly and severally liable in damages in any tort or other civil action for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by an act or omission of the special constable that was committed or omitted with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner. The state or the applicant-freeholders are not liable in damages in any tort or other civil action for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by any other act or omission of the special constable.

(E) This section does not affect any immunities from civil liability or defenses established or recognized by Chapter 2744. or any other chapter of the Revised Code, or available at common law, to which the state or a municipal judge, municipal court, legislative authority, political subdivision, special constable appointed pursuant to division (A) of this section, or applicant-freeholder may be entitled under circumstances not covered by this section.

Effective Date: 12-02-1996; 05-18-2005