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For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
EMERGENCY CALL. 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.
EMPLOYEE. 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 his or her employment for a political subdivision. The term does not include an independent contractor and does not include any individual engaged by a school district pursuant to R.C. § 3319.301. The term includes any elected or appointed official of a political subdivision. The term 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 R.C. § 2951.02 or otherwise, and a child who is found to be a delinquent child and who is ordered by a juvenile court pursuant to R.C. § 2152.19 or 2152.20 to perform community service or community work in a political subdivision.
(1) A function of a political subdivision that is specified in division (2) of this definition 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; or
(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 this section as a proprietary function.
(2) The term 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 R.C. § 3750.01; 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, reconstruc- tion, renovation, repair, maintenance, and operation of jails, places of juvenile detention, workhouses, or any other detention facility, as defined in R.C. § 2921.01;
(i) The enforcement or nonperformance of any law;
(j) The regulation of traffic, and the erection or non-erection of traffic signs, signals, or control devices;
(k) The collection and disposal of solid wastes, as defined in R.C. § 3734.01 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 this subsection, 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 R.C. § 3734.12, 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, 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, including the performance of any activity that a County Land Reutilization Corporation is authorized to perform under R.C. Chapter 1724 or R.C. Chapter 5722;
(r) Flood control measures;
(s) The design, construction, reconstruc- tion, renovation, operation, care, repair, and maintenance of a township cemetery;
(t) The issuance of revenue obligations under R.C. § 140.06;
(u) The design, construction, reconstruc- tion, renovation, repair, maintenance, and operation of any school athletic facility, school auditorium, or gymnasium or any recreation area or facility, including but not limited to any of the following:
1. A park, playground, or playfield;
2. An indoor recreational facility;
3. A zoo or zoological park;
4. A bath, swimming pool, pond, water park, wading pool, wave pool, water slide or other type of aquatic facility;
5. A golf course;
6. A bicycle motocross facility or other type of recreational area or facility in which bicycling, skating, skate boarding, or scooter riding is engaged;
7. A rope course or climbing walls; and
8. An all-purpose vehicle facility in which all-purpose vehicles, as defined in R.C. § 4519.01, 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 R.C. Chapter 120;
(w) 1. At any time before regulations prescribed pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 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;
2. On and after the effective date of regulations prescribed pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 20153, the designation, establishment, design, construction, implementa- tion, 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. § 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; and
(x) A function that the General Assembly mandates a political subdivision to perform.
LAW. 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.
MOTOR VEHICLE. Has the same meaning as in R.C. § 4511.01.
POLITICAL SUBDIVISION or SUBDIVISION. 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. The term includes but is not limited to a county hospital commission appointed under R.C. § 339.14, board of hospital commissioners appointed for a municipal hospital under R.C. § 749.04, board of hospital trustees appointed for a municipal hospital under R.C. § 749.22, regional planning commission created pursuant to R.C. § 713.21, county planning commission created pursuant to R.C. § 713.22, joint planning council created pursuant to R.C. § 713.231, interstate regional planning commission created pursuant to R.C. § 713.30, port authority created pursuant to R.C. § 4582.02 or 4582.26 or in existence on December 16, 1964, regional council established by political subdivisions pursuant to R.C. Chapter 167, emergency planning district and joint emergency planning district designated under R.C. § 3750.03, joint emergency medical services district created pursuant to R.C. § 307.052, a fire and ambulance district created pursuant to R.C. § 505.375, joint interstate emergency planning district established by an agreement entered into under that section, and a county solid waste management district and joint solid waste management district established under R.C. § 343.01 or 343.012, a community school established under R.C. Chapter 3314, county land reutilization corporation organized under R.C. Chapter 1724, the county or counties served by a community-based correctional facility and program or district community-based correction facility and program established and operated under R.C. §§ 2301.51 through 2301.58, 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.
(1) A function of a political subdivision that is specified in division (2) of this definition or that satisfies both of the following:
(a) The function is not one described in divisions (1)(a) or (1)(b) of the definition of “governmental function” contained in this section, and is not one specified in division (2) of the definition of “governmental function” contained in 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) The term includes but is not limited to the following:
(a) The operation of a hospital by one or more political subdivisions;
(b) The design, construction, reconstruc- tion, 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 water supply system;
(d) The maintenance, destruction, operation, and upkeep of a sewer system; and
(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.
PUBLIC ROADS. Means public roads, highways, streets, avenues, alleys, and bridges within a political subdivision. The term 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.
STATE. 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. The term does not include political subdivisions.
(R.C. § 2744.01) (Rev. 2017)