In November 2017, the victim's rights amendment, commonly known as "Marsy's Law," was passed and added to the Ohio Constitution. As part of Marsy's Law, the definition of "victim" was expanded. A "victim" is now defined as "the person against whom the criminal act is committed, or the person directly and proximately harmed by the criminal offense." This means that the parent(s) of a child that was assaulted, or the spouse of a victim that was injured during a robbery are considered "victims" are also considered a "victim" and now have a number of guaranteed constitutional rights. Previously, only the person listed as "victim" in the police report was considered a "victim" in court; and while that victim had some influence on the case (see our previous blog on some limits on victims' influence in domestic violence cases), there was not a constitutional amendment defining victims' rights that must be honored.
Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil announced that non-essential businesses as defined by the State order that goes into effect tonight at midnight will face charges if they are caught remaining open more than once. He indicated that businesses would receive a warning if found to be operating, and if they are caught operating again will face charges. The sheriff also stated that deputies will not stop residents who are driving and will assume that they are traveling in accordance with the order. The penalty for violating this order is a second-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. A copy of the order can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/public-health-orders/directors-order-to-stay-at-home
Ohio Revised Code §2919.25 contains Ohio's domestic violence statute. There are three ways to violate this statute: knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to a family or household member; recklessly causing serious physical harm to a family or household member; or, by threat of force, knowingly causing a family or household member to believe that the defendant will cause them imminent physical harm. A family or household member includes a spouse, person living as a spouse, former spouse, parent, foster parent, child, and any relative by blood or marriage that lives or has lived with the defendant.
The short answer is yes, however, Ohio law does not specifically prohibit a parent from using physical punishment such as spanking.
The college football world was rocked yesterday with the report that Ohio State Football Coach Urban Meyer has been put on paid leave pending an investigation into alleged domestic violence by one of his (now former) assistant coaches. Mr. Meyer is not alleged to have committed domestic violence, so you may be wondering how this story may implicate him. The answer lies in the school's Title IX Policy, and in particular the Title IX language in Mr. Meyer's new contract that he signed in April 2018.
It is very common for clients, or the family of a client, to believe that a criminal charge-usually assault, domestic violence, violation of a protection order, or the like-will be dismissed because "the victim wants to drop the charges." They believe that because the alleged victim called 911, or told the police that a crime happened, that the alleged victim herself controls whether the case will be prosecuted.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you are in an abusive relationship - be it physically, emotionally, mentally or even financially abusive, and have thought about getting out of that relationship, make sure you take steps to prepare before you make that final step. Remember that not all abuse takes the form of red marks and bruises. Emotional and mental abuse can be just as painful. The period of breaking off a relationship and separation can be the most dangerous for an abused party. Last year, between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, there were 115 domestic violence fatalities in Ohio. There were children present at the scene in 23% of those cases. Well laid plans may prevent some such tragedies.