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Bill Analysis

Legislative Service Commission


Sub. H.B. 30
125th General Assembly
(As Passed by the General Assembly)

ACT SUMMARY CONTENT AND OPERATION
Non-criminal disability parking
Continuing law authorizes municipalities and other local authorities to treat violations of the local parking laws in a non-criminal manner. The Non-criminal Parking Law provides a framework for enforcement of the local parking regulations, including the establishment of a Parking Violations Bureau to handle the parking infractions. Local authorities are authorized to establish fines for violations and penalties for failure to timely answer the parking violation charges. The maximum fines and penalties imposed for a single violation may not exceed $100, plus costs and administrative charges.
Any person charged with a local, non-criminal parking infraction is entitled to a hearing and may have a judgment or default judgment entered against the person if the hearing examiner determines that the person committed the parking infraction. If three or more judgments or default judgments are entered against a person and remain unpaid within ten days of the date of entry of the third judgment, the Parking Violations Bureau entering the judgments may give notice of that fact to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. When such a notice is received, neither the Registrar nor any deputy registrar may accept a registration application from the person named in the notice until the Registrar is notified that the judgments have been paid, dismissed, or reversed on appeal, or that the initial notice was given in error.
The act creates an exception to the $100 maximum fine in current law. It provides that if a local authority chooses to adopt a fine specifically for a violation of a local law that regulates the standing or parking of a vehicle in a disability parking space, the fine the local authority establishes for the violation must be from $250 to $500 (sec. 4521.02). The act defines "disability parking space" as a motor vehicle parking location reserved for the use of a vehicle that is operated by or on behalf of a person with a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk and displays a handicapped placard or license plates. Also, "person with a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk" is defined by the act as a person who is entitled to the use of a handicapped placard or license plate under existing law. (Sec. 4521.01(E) and (F).)
Under the act, if a single non-criminal parking violation judgment is entered against a person for violating a disability parking regulation and the person has not paid the judgment or default judgment within ten days of the date of entry of the judgment, and if the judgment has not been dismissed or reversed on appeal, the Parking Violations Bureau may notify the Registrar and prohibit the person from registering a motor vehicle. Such notice must be given not earlier than 16 days nor later than three years after the date of entry of the judgment. The act further states that, regardless of the amount of the fine imposed, a disability parking violation may be included as one of the three general non-criminal parking violations used to trigger a registration block. (Sec. 4521.10.)
Retention of evidence of criminal convictions
Continuing law requires the clerk of each municipal court, county court, and court of common pleas (notwithstanding the Revised Code's other records retention and destruction provisions), to retain documentation regarding each criminal conviction and plea of guilty involving a case that is or was before the court. The documentation previously was required to be in a form that was admissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding as evidence of a prior conviction and had to be retained by the clerks for a period of 50 years after the entry of judgment in the case. The act modifies both the form for document retention and the length of time that certain documents must be retained.
The act continues the provision of law that documentation concerning prior convictions be retained in a form that is admissible as evidence, but adds that this documentation alternatively may be retained in a form that is readily convertible to or producible in a form that is admissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding. For documentation of cases concerned with misdemeanor traffic offenses other than minor misdemeanor offenses or minor misdemeanor traffic offenses, the act requires the documentation to be retained for a period of 25 years after the entry of judgment in the case as opposed to the prior law requirement to retain the documentation for 50 years. For documentation of cases solely concerned with minor misdemeanor offenses or minor misdemeanor traffic offenses, the act establishes a requirement for the clerk to comply with existing law provisions that generally allow the destruction or other disposition of such cases that have been finally disposed of for at least five years without having copied or reproduced the files prior to their destruction. (Secs. 1901.41, 1907.231, and 2301.141.)
HISTORY

ACTIONDATEJOURNAL ENTRY
    Introduced
02-03-03p. 84
    Reported, H. Transportation & Public Safety

01-27-04

p. 1555
    Passed House (91-4)
04-21-04pp. 1779-1780
    Reported, S. Highways
    & Transportation

11-17-04

pp. 2279-2280
    Passed Senate (30-0)
11-17-04pp. 2292-2293
    Concurrence (87-3)
11-30-04pp. 2301-2302




04-hb30-125.doc/jc




* The Legislative Service Commission had not received formal notification of the effective date at the time this analysis was prepared. Additionally, the analysis may not reflect action taken by the Governor.