130th Ohio General Assembly
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(124th General Assembly)
(Amended Substitute Senate Bill Number 221)



AN ACT
To amend sections 109.73, 959.99, 1717.06, and 2151.421 and to enact sections 959.131 and 959.132 of the Revised Code to prohibit specified acts with respect to a companion animal, to establish a procedure for the care of an impounded companion animal during the pendency of charges against a person who violates the prohibition, to require training for humane agents, and to provide for the reporting by county humane society agents of abuse or neglect of children.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1.  That sections 109.73, 959.99, 1717.06, and 2151.421 be amended and sections 959.131 and 959.132 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 109.73.  (A) The Ohio peace officer training commission shall recommend rules to the attorney general with respect to all of the following:

(1) The approval, or revocation of approval, of peace officer training schools administered by the state, counties, municipal corporations, public school districts, technical college districts, and the department of natural resources;

(2) Minimum courses of study, attendance requirements, and equipment and facilities to be required at approved state, county, municipal, and department of natural resources peace officer training schools;

(3) Minimum qualifications for instructors at approved state, county, municipal, and department of natural resources peace officer training schools;

(4) The requirements of minimum basic training that peace officers appointed to probationary terms shall complete before being eligible for permanent appointment, which requirements shall include a minimum of fifteen hours of training in the handling of the offense of domestic violence, other types of domestic violence-related offenses and incidents, and protection orders and consent agreements issued or approved under section 2919.26 or 3113.31 of the Revised Code, a minimum of six hours of crisis intervention training, and a specified amount of training in the handling of missing children and child abuse and neglect cases, and the time within which such basic training shall be completed following such appointment to a probationary term;

(5) The requirements of minimum basic training that peace officers not appointed for probationary terms but appointed on other than a permanent basis shall complete in order to be eligible for continued employment or permanent appointment, which requirements shall include a minimum of fifteen hours of training in the handling of the offense of domestic violence, other types of domestic violence-related offenses and incidents, and protection orders and consent agreements issued or approved under section 2919.26 or 3113.31 of the Revised Code, a minimum of six hours of crisis intervention training, and a specified amount of training in the handling of missing children and child abuse and neglect cases, and the time within which such basic training shall be completed following such appointment on other than a permanent basis;

(6) Categories or classifications of advanced in-service training programs for peace officers, including programs in the handling of the offense of domestic violence, other types of domestic violence-related offenses and incidents, and protection orders and consent agreements issued or approved under section 2919.26 or 3113.31 of the Revised Code, in crisis intervention, and in the handling of missing children and child abuse and neglect cases, and minimum courses of study and attendance requirements with respect to such categories or classifications;

(7) Permitting persons who are employed as members of a campus police department appointed under section 1713.50 of the Revised Code, who are employed as police officers by a qualified nonprofit corporation police department pursuant to section 1702.80 of the Revised Code, or who are appointed and commissioned as railroad police officers or hospital police officers pursuant to sections 4973.17 to 4973.22 of the Revised Code to attend approved peace officer training schools, including the Ohio peace officer training academy, and to receive certificates of satisfactory completion of basic training programs, if the private college or university that established the campus police department, qualified nonprofit corporation police department, railroad company, or hospital sponsoring the police officers pays the entire cost of the training and certification and if trainee vacancies are available;

(8) Permitting undercover drug agents to attend approved peace officer training schools, other than the Ohio peace officer training academy, and to receive certificates of satisfactory completion of basic training programs, if, for each undercover drug agent, the county, township, or municipal corporation that employs that undercover drug agent pays the entire cost of the training and certification;

(9)(a) The requirements for basic training programs for bailiffs and deputy bailiffs of courts of record of this state and for criminal investigators employed by the state public defender that those persons shall complete before they may carry a firearm while on duty;

(b) The requirements for any training received by a bailiff or deputy bailiff of a court of record of this state or by a criminal investigator employed by the state public defender prior to June 6, 1986, that is to be considered equivalent to the training described in division (A)(9)(a) of this section.

(10) Establishing minimum qualifications and requirements for certification for dogs utilized by law enforcement agencies;

(11) Establishing minimum requirements for certification of persons who are employed as correction officers in a full-service jail, five-day facility, or eight-hour holding facility or who provide correction services in such a jail or facility;

(12) Establishing requirements for the training of agents of a county humane society under section 1717.06 of the Revised Code, including, without limitation, a requirement that the agents receive instruction on traditional animal husbandry methods and training techniques, including customary owner-performed practices.

(B) The commission shall appoint an executive director, with the approval of the attorney general, who shall hold office during the pleasure of the commission. The executive director shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the commission. The executive director shall receive a salary fixed pursuant to Chapter 124. of the Revised Code and reimbursement for expenses within the amounts available by appropriation. The executive director may appoint officers, employees, agents, and consultants as the executive director considers necessary, prescribe their duties, and provide for reimbursement of their expenses within the amounts available for reimbursement by appropriation and with the approval of the commission.

(C) The commission may do all of the following:

(1) Recommend studies, surveys, and reports to be made by the executive director regarding the carrying out of the objectives and purposes of sections 109.71 to 109.77 of the Revised Code;

(2) Visit and inspect any peace officer training school that has been approved by the executive director or for which application for approval has been made;

(3) Make recommendations, from time to time, to the executive director, the attorney general, and the general assembly regarding the carrying out of the purposes of sections 109.71 to 109.77 of the Revised Code;

(4) Report to the attorney general from time to time, and to the governor and the general assembly at least annually, concerning the activities of the commission;

(5) Establish fees for the services the commission offers under sections 109.71 to 109.79 of the Revised Code, including, but not limited to, fees for training, certification, and testing.;

(6) Perform such other acts as are necessary or appropriate to carry out the powers and duties of the commission as set forth in sections 109.71 to 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(D) In establishing the requirements, under division (A)(12) of this section, the commission may consider any portions of the curriculm for instruction on the topic of animal husbandry practices, if any, of the Ohio state university college of veterinary medicine. No person or entity that fails to provide instruction on traditional animal husbandry methods and training techniques, including customary owner-performed practices, shall qualify to train a humane agent for appointment under section 1717.06 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 959.131. (A) As used in this section:

(1) "Companion animal" means any animal that is kept inside a residential dwelling and any dog or cat regardless of where it is kept. "Companion animal" does not include livestock or any wild animal.

(2) "Cruelty," "torment," and "torture" have the same meanings as in section 1717.01 of the Revised Code.

(3) "Residential dwelling" means a structure or shelter or the portion of a structure or shelter that is used by one or more humans for the purpose of a habitation.

(4) "Practice of veterinary medicine" has the same meaning as in section 4741.01 of the Revised Code.

(5) "Wild animal" has the same meaning as in section 1531.01 of the Revised Code.

(6) "Federal animal welfare act" means the "Laboratory Animal Act of 1966," Pub. L. No. 89-544, 80 Stat. 350 (1966), 7 U.S.C.A. 2131 et seq., as amended by the "Animal Welfare Act of 1970," Pub. L. No. 91-579, 84 Stat. 1560 (1970), the "Animal Welfare Act Amendments of 1976," Pub. L. No. 94-279, 90 Stat. 417 (1976), and the "Food Security Act of 1985," Pub. L. No. 99-198, 99 Stat. 1354 (1985), and as it may be subsequently amended.

(B) No person shall knowingly torture, torment, needlessly mutilate or maim, cruelly beat, poison, needlessly kill, or commit an act of cruelty against a companion animal.

(C) No person who confines or who is the custodian or caretaker of a companion animal shall negligently do any of the following:

(1) Torture, torment, needlessly mutilate or maim, cruelly beat, poison, needlessly kill, or commit an act of cruelty against the companion animal;

(2) Deprive the companion animal of necessary sustenance, confine the companion animal without supplying it during the confinement with sufficient quantities of good, wholesome food and water, or impound or confine the companion animal without affording it, during the impoundment or confinement, with access to shelter from heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, or excessive direct sunlight, if it can reasonably be expected that the companion animal would become sick or suffer in any other way as a result of or due to the deprivation, confinement, or impoundment or confinement in any of those specified manners.

(D) Divisions (B) and (C) of this section do not apply to any of the following:

(1) A companion animal used in scientific research conducted by an institution in accordance with the federal animal welfare act and related regulations;

(2) The lawful practice of veterinary medicine by a person who has been issued a license, temporary permit, or registration certificate to do so under Chapter 4741. of the Revised Code;

(3) Dogs being used or intended for use for hunting or field trial purposes, provided that the dogs are being treated in accordance with usual and commonly accepted practices for the care of hunting dogs;

(4) The use of common training devices, if the companion animal is being treated in accordance with usual and commonly accepted practices for the training of animals;

(5) The administering of medicine to a companion animal that was properly prescribed by a person who has been issued a license, temporary permit, or registration certificate under Chapter 4741. of the Revised Code.

(E) Notwithstanding any section of the Revised Code that otherwise provides for the distribution of fine moneys, the clerk of court shall forward all fines the clerk collects that are so imposed for any violation of this section to the treasurer of the political subdivision or the state, whose county humane society or law enforcement agency is to be paid the fine money as determined under this division. The treasurer to whom the fines are forwarded shall pay the fine moneys to the county humane society or the county, township, municipal corporation, or state law enforcement agency in this state that primarily was responsible for or involved in the investigation and prosecution of the violation. If a county humane society receives any fine moneys under this division, the county humane society shall use the fine moneys to provide the training that is required for humane agents under section 1717.06 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 959.132. (A) As used in this section:

(1) "Agent of a county humane society" means a person appointed by a county humane society pursuant to section 1717.06 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Companion animal" has the same meaning as in section 959.131 of the Revised Code.

(3) "Impounding agency" means the county humane society, animal shelter, or law enforcement agency that, in accordance with division (B) or (C) of this section, either has impounded a companion animal or has made regular visits to the place where a companion animal is kept to determine whether it is provided with necessities.

(4) "Officer" means any law enforcement officer, agent of a county humane society, dog warden, assistant dog warden, or other person appointed to act as an animal control officer for a county, municipal corporation, or township in accordance with state law, an ordinance, or a resolution.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, an officer may impound a companion animal if the officer has probable cause to believe that it or other companion animals that are kept by the same person on the premises are the subject of a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code and if the officer has lawful access to the companion animal at the time of the impoundment. The officer shall give written notice of the impoundment by posting the notice on the door of the residence on the premises at which the companion animal was impounded, by giving it in person to the owner, custodian, or caretaker of the companion animal, or by otherwise posting the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises where the companion animal was seized. No officer or impounding agency shall impound a companion animal that is the subject of a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code in a shelter owned, operated, or controlled by a board of county commissioners pursuant to Chapter 955. of the Revised Code unless the board, by resolution, authorizes the impoundment of companion animals in a shelter owned, operated, or controlled by that board and has executed, in the case when the officer is other than a dog warden or assistant dog warden, a contract specifying the terms and conditions of the impoundment.

(C) If charges are filed under section 959.131 of the Revised Code against the custodian or caretaker of a companion animal, but the companion animal that is the subject of the charges is not impounded, the court in which the charges are pending may order the owner or person having custody of the companion animal to provide to the companion animal the necessities described in divisions (C)(2) to (6) of section 959.131 of the Revised Code until the final disposition of the charges. If the court issues an order of that nature, the court also may authorize an officer or another person to visit the place where the companion animal is being kept, at the times and under the conditions that the court may set, to determine whether the companion animal is receiving those necessities and to remove and impound the companion animal if the companion animal is not receiving those necessities.

(D) An owner, custodian, or caretaker of one or more companion animals that have been impounded under this section may file a written request for a hearing with the clerk of the court in which charges are pending that were filed under section 959.131 of the Revised Code and that involve the impounded companion animals. If a hearing is requested, the court shall conduct a hearing not later than twenty-one days following receipt of the request. At the hearing, the impounding agency has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that probable cause exists to find that the defendant is guilty of a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code, unless probable cause has previously been established in a judicial proceeding, in which case the court shall take notice that probable cause exists and shall not require further proof of probable cause. A hearing that is conducted under division (D) of this section shall be combined whenever possible with any hearing involving the same pending charges that is authorized and conducted under division (E) of this section.

If the court finds at the conclusion of the hearing that probable cause does not exist for finding that the defendant committed a violation and that the defendant otherwise has a right to possession of the impounded companion animals, the court shall order the animals to be returned to the defendant.

If the court finds at the conclusion of the hearing that probable cause exists for finding the defendant guilty of a violation with respect to one or more of the impounded companion animals, the court shall do one of the following with respect to each impounded companion animal:

(1) Allow the impounding agency to retain custody of the companion animal pending resolution of the underlying charges;

(2) Order the companion animal to be returned to the defendant under any conditions and restrictions that the court determines are appropriate to ensure that the companion animal receives humane and adequate care and treatment.

(E)(1) At any time that one or more charges are pending under section 959.131 of the Revised Code, an impounding agency may file a motion in the court in which the charges are pending requesting that the defendant post a deposit to cover the costs of caring, during the pendency of the charges, for any impounded companion animals seized or removed from the defendant's custody if the reasonably necessary projected costs of the care that will be provided prior to the final resolution of the charges are estimated to be in excess of one thousand five hundred dollars. The motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit that sets forth an estimate of the reasonably necessary costs that the impounding agency expects to incur in providing that care, which may include, but are not limited to, the necessary cost of veterinary care, medications, food, water, and board for the companion animals during the pendency of the charges.

(2) Within ten days after the date on which a motion is filed under division (E)(1) of this section, the court shall conduct a hearing. Except as otherwise provided in division (E)(5) of this section, at the hearing, the impounding agency has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that there is probable cause to find that the defendant is guilty of a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code, unless probable cause has previously been established in a judicial proceeding, in which case the court shall take notice that probable cause exists and shall not require further proof of probable cause, and that the reasonably necessary cumulative costs of caring during the pendency of the charges for the companion animals seized or removed from the defendant's custody or control are reasonably projected to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars.

(3) If the court finds at the conclusion of the hearing that probable cause does not exist for finding that the defendant committed a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code and that the defendant otherwise has a right to possession of the companion animals, the court shall order the animals to be returned to the defendant. If the court finds at the conclusion of the hearing that probable cause exists for finding that the defendant committed a violation of that section, but that the reasonably necessary costs for caring during the pendency of the charges for the companion animals seized or removed from the defendant's custody or control are reasonably projected to be one thousand five hundred dollars or less, the court shall deny the petitioner's motion to require the defendant to pay a deposit.

If the court finds at the conclusion of the hearing that probable cause exists for finding the defendant guilty of the violation with respect to one or more of the impounded companion animals and for determining that the reasonably necessary projected costs of caring for the companion animals exceed one thousand five hundred dollars during the pendency of the charges, the court shall do one of the following:

(a) Order the defendant to post a deposit with the clerk of the court in a form and in an amount that the court determines is sufficient to cover the cost of care of the companion animals from the date of impoundment until the date of the disposition of the charges;

(b) Order one or more of the companion animals to be returned to the defendant under any conditions and restrictions that the court determines to be appropriate to ensure that the companion animals receive humane and adequate care and treatment;

(c) Deny the motion of the impounding agency requesting the defendant to post a deposit, but permit the impounding agency to retain custody of one or more of the companion animals pending resolution of the underlying charges.

(4) The court may order the defendant to forfeit the right of possession and ownership in one or more of the companion animals to the impounding agency if the defendant fails to comply with the conditions set forth in an order of the court that is rendered under division (E)(3) of this section. If the order that was not complied with required the defendant to post a deposit, forfeiture of the companion animals relieves the defendant of any further obligation to post the deposit.

(5)(a) A hearing that is conducted under division (D) of this section shall be combined whenever possible with any hearing involving the same pending charges that is authorized and conducted under division (E) of this section. However, division (E)(5)(b) of this section applies when both of the hearings are conducted and combining them is not possible.

(b) At a hearing conducted under division (E) of this section, an impounding agency shall not be required to prove that there is probable cause to find that the defendant is guilty of a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code if the court already has made a finding concerning probable cause at a separate hearing conducted under division (D) of this section. In such an event, the probable cause finding made at the hearing conducted under division (D) of this section shall be used for purposes of the hearing conducted under division (E) of this section.

(F)(1) If the defendant is found guilty of violating section 959.131 of the Revised Code or any other offense relating to the care or treatment of a companion animal and the defendant posted a deposit pursuant to division (E) of this section, the court shall determine the amount of the reasonably necessary costs that the impounding agency incurred in caring for the companion animal during the pendency of the charges. The court shall order the clerk of the court to pay that amount of the deposit to the impounding agency and to dispose of any amount of the deposit that exceeds that amount in the following order:

(a) Pay any fine imposed on the defendant relative to the violation;

(b) Pay any costs ordered against the defendant relative to the violation;

(c) Return any remaining amount to the defendant.

(2) If the defendant is found not guilty of violating section 959.131 of the Revised Code or any other offense relating to the care or treatment of a companion animal, the court shall order the clerk of court to return the entire amount of the deposit to the defendant, and the impounding agency shall return the companion animal to the defendant. If the companion animal cannot be returned, the court shall order the impounding agency to pay to the defendant an amount determined by the court to be equal to the reasonable market value of the companion animal at the time that it was impounded plus statutory interest as defined in section 1343.03 of the Revised Code from the date of the impoundment. In determining the reasonable market value of the companion animal, the court may consider the condition of the companion animal at the time that the companion animal was impounded and any change in the condition of the companion animal after it was impounded.

(G) An impounding agency that impounds a companion animal under this section shall pay a person who provides veterinary care to the companion animal during the impoundment for the cost of the veterinary care regardless of whether the impounding agency is reimbursed for the payment under this section or section 959.99 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 959.99.  (A) Whoever violates section 959.01, 959.18, or 959.19 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates section 959.02 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. If the value of the animal killed or the injury done amounts to three hundred dollars or more, whoever violates section 959.02 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(C) Whoever violates section 959.03, 959.06, 959.12, 959.15, or 959.17 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(D) Whoever violates division (A) of section 959.13 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. In addition, the court may order the offender to forfeit the animal or livestock and may provide for its disposition, including, but not limited to, the sale of the animal or livestock. If an animal or livestock is forfeited and sold pursuant to this division, the proceeds from the sale first shall be applied to pay the expenses incurred with regard to the care of the animal from the time it was taken from the custody of the former owner. The balance of the proceeds from the sale, if any, shall be paid to the former owner of the animal.

(E)(1) Whoever violates division (B) of section 959.131 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense and a felony of the fifth degree on each subsequent offense.

(2) Whoever violates section 959.01 of the Revised Code or division (C) of section 959.131 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the first degree on each subsequent offense.

(3)(a) A court may order a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code to forfeit to an impounding agency, as defined in section 959.132 of the Revised Code, any or all of the companion animals in that person's ownership or care. The court also may prohibit or place limitations on the person's ability to own or care for any companion animals for a specified or indefinite period of time.

(b) A court may order a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code to reimburse an impounding agency for the reasonably necessary costs incurred by the agency for the care of a companion animal that the agency impounded as a result of the investigation or prosecution of the violation, provided that the costs were not otherwise paid under section 959.132 of the Revised Code.

(4) If a court has reason to believe that a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code suffers from a mental or emotional disorder that contributed to the violation, the court may impose as a community control sanction or as a condition of probation a requirement that the offender undergo psychological evaluation or counseling. The court shall order the offender to pay the costs of the evaluation or counseling.

(F) Whoever violates section 959.14 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the first degree on each subsequent offense.

(F)(G) Whoever violates section 959.05 or 959.20 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(G)(H) Whoever violates section 959.16 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree for a first offense and a felony of the third degree on each subsequent offense.

Sec. 1717.06.  A county humane society organized under section 1717.05 of the Revised Code may appoint agents, who are residents of the county or municipal corporation for which the appointment is made, for the purpose of prosecuting any person guilty of an act of cruelty to persons or animals. Such agents may arrest any person found violating sections 1717.01 to 1717.14, inclusive, of the Revised Code, this chapter or any other law for protecting persons or animals or preventing acts of cruelty thereto. Upon making such an arrest the agent forthwith shall convey the person arrested before some court or magistrate having jurisdiction of the offense, and there make complaint against him the person on oath or affirmation of the offense.

All appointments of agents under this section shall be approved by the mayor of the municipal corporation for which they are made. If the society exists outside a municipal corporation, such appointments shall be approved by the probate judge of the county for which they are made. Such The mayor or probate judge shall keep a record of such appointments.

In order to qualify for appointment as a humane agent under this section, a person first shall successfully complete a minimum of twenty hours of training on issues relating to the investigation and prosecution of cruelty to and neglect of animals. The training shall comply with rules recommended by the peace officer training commission under section 109.73 of the Revised Code and shall include, without limitation, instruction regarding animal husbandry practices as described in division (A)(12) of that section. A person who has been appointed as a humane agent under this section prior to the effective date of this amendment may continue to act as a humane agent for a period of time on and after the effective date of this amendment without completing the training. However, on or before December 31, 2004, a person who has been appointed as a humane agent under this section prior to the effective date of this amendment shall successfully complete the training described in this paragraph and submit proof of its successful completion to the appropriate appointing mayor or probate judge in order to continue to act as a humane agent after December 31, 2004.

An agent of a county humane society only has the specific authority granted to the agent under this section and section 1717.08 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 2151.421.  (A)(1)(a) No person described in division (A)(1)(b) of this section who is acting in an official or professional capacity and knows or suspects that a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired child under twenty-one years of age has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the child, shall fail to immediately report that knowledge or suspicion to the public children services agency or a municipal or county peace officer in the county in which the child resides or in which the abuse or neglect is occurring or has occurred.

(b) Division (A)(1)(a) of this section applies to any person who is an attorney; physician, including a hospital intern or resident; dentist; podiatrist; practitioner of a limited branch of medicine as specified in section 4731.15 of the Revised Code; registered nurse; licensed practical nurse; visiting nurse; other health care professional; licensed psychologist; licensed school psychologist; speech pathologist or audiologist; coroner; administrator or employee of a child day-care center; administrator or employee of a residential camp or child day camp; administrator or employee of a certified child care agency or other public or private children services agency; school teacher; school employee; school authority; person engaged in social work or the practice of professional counseling; agent of a county humane society; or a person rendering spiritual treatment through prayer in accordance with the tenets of a well-recognized religion.

(2) An attorney or a physician is not required to make a report pursuant to division (A)(1) of this section concerning any communication the attorney or physician receives from a client or patient in an attorney-client or physician-patient relationship, if, in accordance with division (A) or (B) of section 2317.02 of the Revised Code, the attorney or physician could not testify with respect to that communication in a civil or criminal proceeding, except that the client or patient is deemed to have waived any testimonial privilege under division (A) or (B) of section 2317.02 of the Revised Code with respect to that communication and the attorney or physician shall make a report pursuant to division (A)(1) of this section with respect to that communication, if all of the following apply:

(a) The client or patient, at the time of the communication, is either a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired person under twenty-one years of age.

(b) The attorney or physician knows or suspects, as a result of the communication or any observations made during that communication, that the client or patient has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the client or patient.

(c) The attorney-client or physician-patient relationship does not arise out of the client's or patient's attempt to have an abortion without the notification of her parents, guardian, or custodian in accordance with section 2151.85 of the Revised Code.

(B) Anyone, who knows or suspects that a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired person under twenty-one years of age has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or other condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the child, may report or cause reports to be made of that knowledge or suspicion to the public children services agency or to a municipal or county peace officer.

(C) Any report made pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section shall be made forthwith either by telephone or in person and shall be followed by a written report, if requested by the receiving agency or officer. The written report shall contain:

(1) The names and addresses of the child and the child's parents or the person or persons having custody of the child, if known;

(2) The child's age and the nature and extent of the child's known or suspected injuries, abuse, or neglect or of the known or suspected threat of injury, abuse, or neglect, including any evidence of previous injuries, abuse, or neglect;

(3) Any other information that might be helpful in establishing the cause of the known or suspected injury, abuse, or neglect or of the known or suspected threat of injury, abuse, or neglect.

Any person, who is required by division (A) of this section to report known or suspected child abuse or child neglect, may take or cause to be taken color photographs of areas of trauma visible on a child and, if medically indicated, cause to be performed radiological examinations of the child.

(D)(1) Upon the receipt of a report concerning the possible abuse or neglect of a child or the possible threat of abuse or neglect of a child, the municipal or county peace officer who receives the report shall refer the report to the appropriate public children services agency.

(2) On receipt of a report pursuant to this division or division (A) or (B) of this section, the public children services agency shall comply with section 2151.422 of the Revised Code.

(E) No township, municipal, or county peace officer shall remove a child about whom a report is made pursuant to this section from the child's parents, stepparents, or guardian or any other persons having custody of the child without consultation with the public children services agency, unless, in the judgment of the officer, and, if the report was made by physician, the physician, immediate removal is considered essential to protect the child from further abuse or neglect. The agency that must be consulted shall be the agency conducting the investigation of the report as determined pursuant to section 2151.422 of the Revised Code.

(F)(1) Except as provided in section 2151.422 of the Revised Code, the public children services agency shall investigate, within twenty-four hours, each report of known or suspected child abuse or child neglect and of a known or suspected threat of child abuse or child neglect that is referred to it under this section to determine the circumstances surrounding the injuries, abuse, or neglect or the threat of injury, abuse, or neglect, the cause of the injuries, abuse, neglect, or threat, and the person or persons responsible. The investigation shall be made in cooperation with the law enforcement agency and in accordance with the memorandum of understanding prepared under division (J) of this section. A failure to make the investigation in accordance with the memorandum is not grounds for, and shall not result in, the dismissal of any charges or complaint arising from the report or the suppression of any evidence obtained as a result of the report and does not give, and shall not be construed as giving, any rights or any grounds for appeal or post-conviction relief to any person. The public children services agency shall report each case to a central registry which the department of job and family services shall maintain in order to determine whether prior reports have been made in other counties concerning the child or other principals in the case. The public children services agency shall submit a report of its investigation, in writing, to the law enforcement agency.

(2) The public children services agency shall make any recommendations to the county prosecuting attorney or city director of law that it considers necessary to protect any children that are brought to its attention.

(G)(1)(a) Except as provided in division (H)(3) of this section, anyone or any hospital, institution, school, health department, or agency participating in the making of reports under division (A) of this section, anyone or any hospital, institution, school, health department, or agency participating in good faith in the making of reports under division (B) of this section, and anyone participating in good faith in a judicial proceeding resulting from the reports, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability for injury, death, or loss to person or property that otherwise might be incurred or imposed as a result of the making of the reports or the participation in the judicial proceeding.

(b) Notwithstanding section 4731.22 of the Revised Code, the physician-patient privilege shall not be a ground for excluding evidence regarding a child's injuries, abuse, or neglect, or the cause of the injuries, abuse, or neglect in any judicial proceeding resulting from a report submitted pursuant to this section.

(2) In any civil or criminal action or proceeding in which it is alleged and proved that participation in the making of a report under this section was not in good faith or participation in a judicial proceeding resulting from a report made under this section was not in good faith, the court shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees and costs and, if a civil action or proceeding is voluntarily dismissed, may award reasonable attorney's fees and costs to the party against whom the civil action or proceeding is brought.

(H)(1) Except as provided in divisions (H)(4), (M), and (N) of this section, a report made under this section is confidential. The information provided in a report made pursuant to this section and the name of the person who made the report shall not be released for use, and shall not be used, as evidence in any civil action or proceeding brought against the person who made the report. In a criminal proceeding, the report is admissible in evidence in accordance with the Rules of Evidence and is subject to discovery in accordance with the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(2) No person shall permit or encourage the unauthorized dissemination of the contents of any report made under this section.

(3) A person who knowingly makes or causes another person to make a false report under division (B) of this section that alleges that any person has committed an act or omission that resulted in a child being an abused child or a neglected child is guilty of a violation of section 2921.14 of the Revised Code.

(4) If a report is made pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section and the child who is the subject of the report dies for any reason at any time after the report is made, but before the child attains eighteen years of age, the public children services agency or municipal or county peace officer to which the report was made or referred, on the request of the child fatality review board, shall submit a summary sheet of information providing a summary of the report to the review board of the county in which the deceased child resided at the time of death. On the request of the review board, the agency or peace officer may, at its discretion, make the report available to the review board.

(5) A public children services agency shall advise a person alleged to have inflicted abuse or neglect on a child who is the subject of a report made pursuant to this section in writing of the disposition of the investigation. The agency shall not provide to the person any information that identifies the person who made the report, statements of witnesses, or police or other investigative reports.

(I) Any report that is required by this section shall result in protective services and emergency supportive services being made available by the public children services agency on behalf of the children about whom the report is made, in an effort to prevent further neglect or abuse, to enhance their welfare, and, whenever possible, to preserve the family unit intact. The agency required to provide the services shall be the agency conducting the investigation of the report pursuant to section 2151.422 of the Revised Code.

(J)(1) Each public children services agency shall prepare a memorandum of understanding that is signed by all of the following:

(a) If there is only one juvenile judge in the county, the juvenile judge of the county or the juvenile judge's representative;

(b) If there is more than one juvenile judge in the county, a juvenile judge or the juvenile judges' representative selected by the juvenile judges or, if they are unable to do so for any reason, the juvenile judge who is senior in point of service or the senior juvenile judge's representative;

(c) The county peace officer;

(d) All chief municipal peace officers within the county;

(e) Other law enforcement officers handling child abuse and neglect cases in the county;

(f) The prosecuting attorney of the county;

(g) If the public children services agency is not the county department of job and family services, the county department of job and family services;

(h) The county humane society.

(2) A memorandum of understanding shall set forth the normal operating procedure to be employed by all concerned officials in the execution of their respective responsibilities under this section and division (C) of section 2919.21, division (B)(1) of section 2919.22, division (B) of section 2919.23, and section 2919.24 of the Revised Code and shall have as two of its primary goals the elimination of all unnecessary interviews of children who are the subject of reports made pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section and, when feasible, providing for only one interview of a child who is the subject of any report made pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section. A failure to follow the procedure set forth in the memorandum by the concerned officials is not grounds for, and shall not result in, the dismissal of any charges or complaint arising from any reported case of abuse or neglect or the suppression of any evidence obtained as a result of any reported child abuse or child neglect and does not give, and shall not be construed as giving, any rights or any grounds for appeal or post-conviction relief to any person.

(3) A memorandum of understanding shall include all of the following:

(a) The roles and responsibilities for handling emergency and nonemergency cases of abuse and neglect;

(b) Standards and procedures to be used in handling and coordinating investigations of reported cases of child abuse and reported cases of child neglect, methods to be used in interviewing the child who is the subject of the report and who allegedly was abused or neglected, and standards and procedures addressing the categories of persons who may interview the child who is the subject of the report and who allegedly was abused or neglected.

(K)(1) Except as provided in division (K)(4) of this section, a person who is required to make a report pursuant to division (A) of this section may make a reasonable number of requests of the public children services agency that receives or is referred the report to be provided with the following information:

(a) Whether the agency has initiated an investigation of the report;

(b) Whether the agency is continuing to investigate the report;

(c) Whether the agency is otherwise involved with the child who is the subject of the report;

(d) The general status of the health and safety of the child who is the subject of the report;

(e) Whether the report has resulted in the filing of a complaint in juvenile court or of criminal charges in another court.

(2) A person may request the information specified in division (K)(1) of this section only if, at the time the report is made, the person's name, address, and telephone number are provided to the person who receives the report.

When a municipal or county peace officer or employee of a public children services agency receives a report pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section the recipient of the report shall inform the person of the right to request the information described in division (K)(1) of this section. The recipient of the report shall include in the initial child abuse or child neglect report that the person making the report was so informed and, if provided at the time of the making of the report, shall include the person's name, address, and telephone number in the report.

Each request is subject to verification of the identity of the person making the report. If that person's identity is verified, the agency shall provide the person with the information described in division (K)(1) of this section a reasonable number of times, except that the agency shall not disclose any confidential information regarding the child who is the subject of the report other than the information described in those divisions.

(3) A request made pursuant to division (K)(1) of this section is not a substitute for any report required to be made pursuant to division (A) of this section.

(4) If an agency other than the agency that received or was referred the report is conducting the investigation of the report pursuant to section 2151.422 of the Revised Code, the agency conducting the investigation shall comply with the requirements of division (K) of this section.

(L) The director of job and family services shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to implement this section. The department of job and family services may enter into a plan of cooperation with any other governmental entity to aid in ensuring that children are protected from abuse and neglect. The department shall make recommendations to the attorney general that the department determines are necessary to protect children from child abuse and child neglect.

(M) No later than the end of the day following the day on which a public children services agency receives a report of alleged child abuse or child neglect, or a report of an alleged threat of child abuse or child neglect, that allegedly occurred in or involved an out-of-home care entity, the agency shall provide written notice of the allegations contained in and the person named as the alleged perpetrator in the report to the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer of the out-of-home care entity that is the subject of the report unless the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer is named as an alleged perpetrator in the report. If the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer of an out-of-home care entity is named as an alleged perpetrator in a report of alleged child abuse or child neglect, or a report of an alleged threat of child abuse or child neglect, that allegedly occurred in or involved the out-of-home care entity, the agency shall provide the written notice to the owner or governing board of the out-of-home care entity that is the subject of the report. The agency shall not provide witness statements or police or other investigative reports.

(N) No later than three days after the day on which a public children services agency that conducted the investigation as determined pursuant to section 2151.422 of the Revised Code makes a disposition of an investigation involving a report of alleged child abuse or child neglect, or a report of an alleged threat of child abuse or child neglect, that allegedly occurred in or involved an out-of-home care entity, the agency shall send written notice of the disposition of the investigation to the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer and the owner or governing board of the out-of-home care entity. The agency shall not provide witness statements or police or other investigative reports.

SECTION 2.  That existing sections 109.73, 959.99, 1717.06, and 2151.421 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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