4521.09 Liability of owner.

(A) An owner of a vehicle is not jointly liable with an operator of the vehicle whose act or omission resulted in a parking infraction for the parking infraction or any fine, penalty, or processing fee arising out of the parking infraction under this chapter if either of the following apply:

(1) The owner answers the charge of the parking infraction under section 4521.06 or 4521.07 of the Revised Code, the answer denies that he committed the infraction and requests a hearing concerning the infraction, the owner additionally asserts and provides reasonable evidence at that time to prove that the vehicle, at the time of the commission of the parking infraction, was being used by the operator without the owner's express or implied consent, and the parking violations bureau, joint parking violations bureau, or traffic violations bureau, or the juvenile court, that has jurisdiction over the parking infraction determines that the vehicle was being used without the owner's express or implied consent at that time. If the bureau or juvenile court does not so determine, it shall conduct the hearing concerning the infraction according to section 4521.08 of the Revised Code.

(2) The owner answers the charge of the parking infraction under section 4521.06 or 4521.07 of the Revised Code, the answer denies that he committed the parking infraction, the owner additionally submits evidence at that time that proves that, at the time of the alleged commission of the infraction, the owner was engaged in the business of renting or leasing vehicles under written rental or lease agreements, and the owner additionally submits evidence that proves that, at the time of the alleged commission of the parking infraction, the vehicle in question was in the care, custody, or control of a person other than the owner pursuant to a written rental or lease agreement.

If the owner does not so prove, the parking violations bureau, joint parking violations bureau, or traffic violations bureau, or the juvenile court, shall conduct a hearing relative to the infraction according to section 4521.08 of the Revised Code.

(3) The owner, at a hearing concerning the parking infraction conducted in accordance with section 4521.08 of the Revised Code, proves that the vehicle, at the time of the parking infraction, was being used by the operator without the owner's express or implied consent or proves the facts described in division (A)(2) of this section.

(B) An owner of a vehicle who is engaged in the business of renting or leasing vehicles under written rental or lease agreements, but who does not satisfy the additional requirements of division (A)(2) of this section is not liable for any penalties or processing fees arising out of a parking infraction involving the vehicle if at the time of the commission of the parking infraction, the vehicle was in the care, custody, or control of a person other than the owner pursuant to a written rental or lease agreement, and if the owner answers the charge of the parking infraction by denying that he committed the parking infraction or by paying the fine arising out of the parking infraction within thirty days after actual receipt of the parking ticket charging the infraction or, if the owner did not receive the parking ticket, within thirty days after receipt of the notification of infraction.

Proof that the vehicle was in the care, custody, or control of a person other than the owner pursuant to a written rental or lease agreement at the time of the alleged parking infraction shall be established by sending a true copy of the rental or lease agreement or an affidavit to that effect to the parking violations bureau, joint parking violations bureau, or traffic violations bureau, or the juvenile court that has jurisdiction over the alleged parking infraction within thirty days after the date of receipt by the owner of the parking ticket charging the infraction or, if the owner did not receive the parking ticket, within thirty days after receipt of the notification of infraction. The submission of a true copy of a written rental or lease agreement or affidavit shall be prima-facie evidence that a vehicle was in the care, custody, or control of a person other than the owner. The affidavit authorized by this section shall be accompanied by a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope, shall be in a form the registrar of motor vehicles shall prescribe, and shall include space for the parking violations bureau, joint parking violations bureau, or traffic violations bureau, or the juvenile court that has jurisdiction over the alleged parking infraction to indicate receipt of the affidavit. Within thirty days of receipt of the affidavit, the bureau or court shall return a receipted copy of the affidavit to the rental or lease company. In addition, any information required by division (A)(2) of this section may be provided on magnetic tape or another computer readable media in a format acceptable to the particular local authority.

Cite as R.C. § 4521.09

History. Effective Date: 10-09-1989