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Legislative Notes


In October of 1965, the Ohio Legislature enacted section 3109.09 of the Ohio Revised Code which permitted a property owner to bring a civil action for the recovery of compensatory damages against the parents of a minor who willfully damaged the property of the owner, provided that the parents had custody and control of the minor. The amount of recovery was the actual damages sustained, but with a limit of $250 per child. The minor need not have been adjudged delinquent in order for the property owner to recover. All the property owner needed to prove was willful destruction by the minor, custody and control of the minor by his parents, and actual damage. That law created an anomalous situation in that the property owner was not expressly afforded similar protection if his property were instead stolen.

Effective May 23, 1978, this situation has been rectified by the Ohio Legislature with the enactment of House Bill 456, amending section 3109.09 of the Ohio Revised Code. House Bill 456 amends section 3109.09 by raising the statutory limit of recovery to $3,000 and allowing a property owner to also recover damages from the parents of a minor who commits acts which are defined as theft offenses by section 2913.01 of the Ohio Revised Code.

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