Proposal to Expand Probate Court Powers over Park Districts Introduced as Stand-Alone Bill

The following item was originally published on the website of the Geauga County Maple Leaf on May 20, 2017. Our thanks to the Maple Leaf for permission to republish here.


State Rep. Bill Seitz reintroduces failed budget bill amendment as stand-alone legislation

The following is the text of House Bill 218, which state Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, has introduced in the Ohio House.


132nd General Assembly
Regular Session                                                                                                H.B. 218

Representative Seitz


To amend section 1545.06 of the Revised Code to expand a probate court’s powers and duties with regard to a park district.


Section 1. That section 1545.06 of the Revised Code be 4 amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1545.06.

(A) Any park commissioner may be removed at the discretion of the probate judge, either upon complaint filed with such judge or upon the judge’s own motion. No such removal shall be made without giving such commissioner not less than ten days’ notice and a full opportunity to be heard in the commissioner’s own behalf in a public hearing. The order removing such commissioner shall state the reasons therefor and shall be entered upon the records of the probate court. In case of such removal, or in case of other vacancy in the office of commissioner, the vacancy shall be filled by the judge by appointment for the unexpired term.

(B) A probate court may do any of the following with regard to a park district created by an order of the court:

(1) Enforce the court’s order that created the park;

(2) Issue an order compelling compliance with this chapter;

(3) Investigate matters involving the park district either through a court hearing or through a special master commissionerappointed pursuant to section 2101.06 of the Revised Code, if a written request is made to the court by a majority of the board of park commissioners;

(4) Tax the cost of proceedings, including special master commissioner investigation fees, as court costs to be assessed by the court in its discretion.

(C) Before taking any action authorized under division (B) of this section, the probate court shall give prior written notice to any person or party affected by the action. The court shall conduct a hearing on the matter if a hearing is requestedin writing by such person or party. The probate court also may conduct a hearing on its own motion. If a hearing is scheduled, the court shall provide notice of the time and place of the hearing to all affected persons and parties. The court shall provide the notice not less than twenty-eight days prior to the hearing.

(D) The probate court may order that a person become a party to a proceeding concerning a park district if the person’spresence as a party is necessary to enable the court to make a decision fairly and effectively in the proceeding. The probatecourt shall give such person notice of its intention to make the person a party. The court shall conduct a hearing prior toissuing the order if requested in writing by the person. The probate court also may conduct a hearing on its own motion. The court shall provide notice of the hearing in the manner prescribed in division (C) of this section.

(E) The probate court may order that a party to a proceeding concerning a park district is no longer a party if either of the following applies:

(1) The person’s presence is not necessary to enable the court to make a decision fairly and effectively in the proceeding; or

(2) The court determines that the person should not be a party to the proceeding for any other reason.

(F) Nothing in this section authorizes a probate court to take any action that infringes upon any rights of an individual or organization that are protected by the United States Constitution or the Ohio Constitution.

(G) A probate court shall not impede or interfere with the daily operations of a park district created under this chapter or the maintenance of the park district’s property unless such maintenance or operations are in violation of this chapter or the order of the court that created the park district.

(H) Any actions taken by the probate court authorized under division (B) (1) or (2) of this section are limited to injunctive relief or a declaratory judgment.

(I) As used in this section, “party” means any person whois the subject of a probate court proceeding or investigation, and any other person specifically designated by the court. The entity that submits a petition to the probate court for the creation of a park district under this chapter is a party,unless otherwise designated by the court.

Section 2. That existing section 1545.06 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.

Categories: News

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