2744.01 Political subdivision tort liability definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Emergency call" means a call to duty, including, but not limited to, communications from citizens, police dispatches, and personal observations by peace officers of inherently dangerous situations that demand an immediate response on the part of a peace officer.

(B) "Employee" means an officer, agent, employee, or servant, whether or not compensated or full-time or part-time, who is authorized to act and is acting within the scope of the officer's, agent's, employee's, or servant's employment for a political subdivision. "Employee" does not include an independent contractor and does not include any individual engaged by a school district pursuant to section 3319.301 of the Revised Code. "Employee" includes any elected or appointed official of a political subdivision. "Employee" also includes a person who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a criminal offense and who has been sentenced to perform community service work in a political subdivision whether pursuant to section 2951.02 of the Revised Code or otherwise, and a child who is found to be a delinquent child and who is ordered by a juvenile court pursuant to section 2152.19 or 2152.20 of the Revised Code to perform community service or community work in a political subdivision.

(C)

(1) "Governmental function" means a function of a political subdivision that is specified in division (C)(2) of this section or that satisfies any of the following:

(a) A function that is imposed upon the state as an obligation of sovereignty and that is performed by a political subdivision voluntarily or pursuant to legislative requirement;

(b) A function that is for the common good of all citizens of the state;

(c) A function that promotes or preserves the public peace, health, safety, or welfare; that involves activities that are not engaged in or not customarily engaged in by nongovernmental persons; and that is not specified in division (G)(2) of this section as a proprietary function.

(2) A "governmental function" includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) The provision or nonprovision of police, fire, emergency medical, ambulance, and rescue services or protection;

(b) The power to preserve the peace; to prevent and suppress riots, disturbances, and disorderly assemblages; to prevent, mitigate, and clean up releases of oil and hazardous and extremely hazardous substances as defined in section 3750.01 of the Revised Code; and to protect persons and property;

(c) The provision of a system of public education;

(d) The provision of a free public library system;

(e) The regulation of the use of, and the maintenance and repair of, roads, highways, streets, avenues, alleys, sidewalks, bridges, aqueducts, viaducts, and public grounds;

(f) Judicial, quasi-judicial, prosecutorial, legislative, and quasi-legislative functions;

(g) The construction, reconstruction, repair, renovation, maintenance, and operation of buildings that are used in connection with the performance of a governmental function, including, but not limited to, office buildings and courthouses;

(h) The design, construction, reconstruction, renovation, repair, maintenance, and operation of jails, places of juvenile detention, workhouses, or any other detention facility, as defined in section 2921.01 of the Revised Code;

(i) The enforcement or nonperformance of any law;

(j) The regulation of traffic, and the erection or nonerection of traffic signs, signals, or control devices;

(k) The collection and disposal of solid wastes, as defined in section 3734.01 of the Revised Code, including, but not limited to, the operation of solid waste disposal facilities, as "facilities" is defined in that section, and the collection and management of hazardous waste generated by households. As used in division (C)(2)(k) of this section, "hazardous waste generated by households" means solid waste originally generated by individual households that is listed specifically as hazardous waste in or exhibits one or more characteristics of hazardous waste as defined by rules adopted under section 3734.12 of the Revised Code, but that is excluded from regulation as a hazardous waste by those rules.

(l) The provision or nonprovision, planning or design, construction, or reconstruction of a public improvement, including, but not limited to, a sewer system;

(m) The operation of a job and family services department or agency, including, but not limited to, the provision of assistance to aged and infirm persons and to persons who are indigent;

(n) The operation of a health board, department, or agency, including, but not limited to, any statutorily required or permissive program for the provision of immunizations or other inoculations to all or some members of the public, provided that a "governmental function" does not include the supply, manufacture, distribution, or development of any drug or vaccine employed in any such immunization or inoculation program by any supplier, manufacturer, distributor, or developer of the drug or vaccine;

(o) The operation of mental health facilities, mental retardation or developmental disabilities facilities, alcohol treatment and control centers, and children's homes or agencies;

(p) The provision or nonprovision of inspection services of all types, including, but not limited to, inspections in connection with building, zoning, sanitation, fire, plumbing, and electrical codes, and the taking of actions in connection with those types of codes, including, but not limited to, the approval of plans for the construction of buildings or structures and the issuance or revocation of building permits or stop work orders in connection with buildings or structures;

(q) Urban renewal projects and the elimination of slum conditions;

(r) Flood control measures;

(s) The design, construction, reconstruction, renovation, operation, care, repair, and maintenance of a township cemetery;

(t) The issuance of revenue obligations under section 140.06 of the Revised Code;

(u) The design, construction, reconstruction, renovation, repair, maintenance, and operation of any school athletic facility, school auditorium, or gymnasium or any recreational area or facility, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

(i) A park, playground, or playfield;

(ii) An indoor recreational facility;

(iii) A zoo or zoological park;

(iv) A bath, swimming pool, pond, water park, wading pool, wave pool, water slide, or other type of aquatic facility;

(v) A golf course;

(vi) A bicycle motocross facility or other type of recreational area or facility in which bicycling, skating, skate boarding, or scooter riding is engaged;

(vii) A rope course or climbing walls;

(viii) An all-purpose vehicle facility in which all-purpose vehicles, as defined in section 4519.01 of the Revised Code, are contained, maintained, or operated for recreational activities.

(v) The provision of public defender services by a county or joint county public defender's office pursuant to Chapter 120. of the Revised Code;

(w)

(i) At any time before regulations prescribed pursuant to 49 U.S.C.A 20153 become effective, the designation, establishment, design, construction, implementation, operation, repair, or maintenance of a public road rail crossing in a zone within a municipal corporation in which, by ordinance, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation regulates the sounding of locomotive horns, whistles, or bells;

(ii) On and after the effective date of regulations prescribed pursuant to 49 U.S.C.A. 20153 , the designation, establishment, design, construction, implementation, operation, repair, or maintenance of a public road rail crossing in such a zone or of a supplementary safety measure, as defined in 49 U.S.C.A 20153 , at or for a public road rail crossing, if and to the extent that the public road rail crossing is excepted, pursuant to subsection (c) of that section, from the requirement of the regulations prescribed under subsection (b) of that section.

(x) A function that the general assembly mandates a political subdivision to perform.

(D) "Law" means any provision of the constitution, statutes, or rules of the United States or of this state; provisions of charters, ordinances, resolutions, and rules of political subdivisions; and written policies adopted by boards of education. When used in connection with the "common law," this definition does not apply.

(E) "Motor vehicle" has the same meaning as in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code.

(F) "Political subdivision" or "subdivision" means a municipal corporation, township, county, school district, or other body corporate and politic responsible for governmental activities in a geographic area smaller than that of the state. "Political subdivision" includes, but is not limited to, a county hospital commission appointed under section 339.14 of the Revised Code, board of hospital commissioners appointed for a municipal hospital under section 749.04 of the Revised Code, board of hospital trustees appointed for a municipal hospital under section 749.22 of the Revised Code, regional planning commission created pursuant to section 713.21 of the Revised Code, county planning commission created pursuant to section 713.22 of the Revised Code, joint planning council created pursuant to section 713.231 of the Revised Code, interstate regional planning commission created pursuant to section 713.30 of the Revised Code, port authority created pursuant to section 4582.02 or 4582.26 of the Revised Code or in existence on December 16, 1964, regional council established by political subdivisions pursuant to Chapter 167. of the Revised Code, emergency planning district and joint emergency planning district designated under section 3750.03 of the Revised Code, joint emergency medical services district created pursuant to section 307.052 of the Revised Code, fire and ambulance district created pursuant to section 505.375 of the Revised Code, joint interstate emergency planning district established by an agreement entered into under that section, county solid waste management district and joint solid waste management district established under section 343.01 or 343.012 of the Revised Code, community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code, the county or counties served by a community-based correctional facility and program or district community-based correctional facility and program established and operated under sections 2301.51 to 2301.58 of the Revised Code, a community-based correctional facility and program or district community-based correctional facility and program that is so established and operated, and the facility governing board of a community-based correctional facility and program or district community-based correctional facility and program that is so established and operated.

(G)

(1) "Proprietary function" means a function of a political subdivision that is specified in division (G)(2) of this section or that satisfies both of the following:

(a) The function is not one described in division (C)(1)(a) or (b) of this section and is not one specified in division (C)(2) of this section;

(b) The function is one that promotes or preserves the public peace, health, safety, or welfare and that involves activities that are customarily engaged in by nongovernmental persons.

(2) A "proprietary function" includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) The operation of a hospital by one or more political subdivisions;

(b) The design, construction, reconstruction, renovation, repair, maintenance, and operation of a public cemetery other than a township cemetery;

(c) The establishment, maintenance, and operation of a utility, including, but not limited to, a light, gas, power, or heat plant, a railroad, a busline or other transit company, an airport, and a municipal corporation water supply system;

(d) The maintenance, destruction, operation, and upkeep of a sewer system;

(e) The operation and control of a public stadium, auditorium, civic or social center, exhibition hall, arts and crafts center, band or orchestra, or off-street parking facility.

(H) "Public roads" means public roads, highways, streets, avenues, alleys, and bridges within a political subdivision. "Public roads" does not include berms, shoulders, rights-of-way, or traffic control devices unless the traffic control devices are mandated by the Ohio manual of uniform traffic control devices.

(I) "State" means the state of Ohio, including, but not limited to, the general assembly, the supreme court, the offices of all elected state officers, and all departments, boards, offices, commissions, agencies, colleges and universities, institutions, and other instrumentalities of the state of Ohio. "State" does not include political subdivisions.

Effective Date: 04-09-2003; 04-27-2005; 10-12-2006