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  1. #1
    flfmmqp is offline Junior Member
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    Where does jurisdiction fall for police departments?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Ohio

    I know this is going to depend on which police department we are talking about here. I believe state troopers have the right to any public roads like highways. Plus they can be brought in if requested by a local police agency.

    However, can a city or county police officer sit in one county (the county they do not belong.) and then make an arrest in the country in which they do belong for a stop light violation? I am sure they can do the reverse but would think they would not be allowed to sit in another county.
  2. #2
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
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    When it comes to police jurisdiction, it is where the offense happens, not where the officer is when the offense occurs. If the other county has no problem with the officer being where he is, it is legal.
    If you feel my answer is rude, mean, snarky or in anyway not to your liking, I did my job. You don't need to tell me.

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  3. #3
    BOR
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    I live in Ohio also, and although the HP has traffic jurisdiction statewide, thier criminal law jurisdiction is limited to state property, etc., Title 55.

    Now to address the other inquiry, this case, just decided last year, outlines traffic stop jurisdiction, and it is statewide.

    [url]http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2009/2009-Ohio-316.pdf[/url]


    ...and then make an arrest in the country in which they do belong for a stop light violation.
    Issuing a citation in Ohio for a traffic stop is legally different from an arrest.

    MOST traffic offenses in Ohio are classified as Minor Misdemeanors. These are NON arrestable offenses unless the person refuses to sign the citation, has failed to appear before for a previous charge, etc., this is in the ORC, absent the exceptions, they can NOT be arrested.

    NOW, if it the 2nd MM offense within a 12 month period, then it elevates that one to a Misdemeanor of the 4th degree and then is technically arrestable. Any offense, traffic or otherwise, M-4 and above, is an arrestable offense, as there is possible jail time.

    NOW, Ohio Home Rule authority in the Constitution, Article 18, sec. 3, authorizes Municipalities the power to classify any crime which is an MM ANY M they wish. In other words, even though state law has most traffic offenses at an MM, a city can classify them as M-4 and above, then it is arrestable.

    A city can NOT undercut state law though, meaning if a crime is an M-4, a city can make the same crime, M-4, 3-, 2-, 1, but NOT MM.

    Of course in Ohio, as ALL states, Municipalities can NOT pass Felonies.

    So in a nutshell, jurisdiction is statewide, and the HP can only charge under state law, IF an out of jurisdiction officer charges they will cite under state law also, NOT that city's, even IF they have a higher classification for an arrest.
  4. #4
    flfmmqp is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the responses.

    Sorry I got lost a little here. So if I understand this correctly an officer can sit in another county, even if it is outside of their jurisdiction and write a ticket as long as that offense was inside their jurisdiction? Or are you saying in Ohio jurisidiction does not matter? I am sure you said it clearly I am easily confused.
  5. #5
    BOR
    BOR is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by flfmmqp View Post
    Thanks for the responses.

    Sorry I got lost a little here. So if I understand this correctly an officer can sit in another county, even if it is outside of their jurisdiction and write a ticket as long as that offense was inside their jurisdiction? Or are you saying in Ohio jurisidiction does not matter? I am sure you said it clearly I am easily confused.
    SITTING, as in purposely in a neighboring jurisdiction to accomplish this goal is a violation of department policy and taxpayer money.

    The case law was addressing whether an officer can cite outside of his Chartered jurisdiction, and the answer is YES.

    One example, a Toledo officer driving in his marked car is travelling down to Dayton to pick up a prisoner. He witnesses a traffic violation in Dayton, he is permitted to cite there.
  6. #6
    Maestro64 is offline Member
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    I will help it make it a little more clear.

    Most all states have laws on the books with give all police departments in their state the ability to enforce state wide laws no matter where their home jurisdiction/political boundaries exist. So they can arrest you for any crime or write a ticket which are state laws anywhere in the state. However the fines and court you will have to deal with is location specific. So police can not go to a neighboring town write you a ticket or have you put in jail or stand for trial or pay fines in their local town. This where the problem arises, most police do not know what local court or town that has jurisdiction over the ticket, so they sometime call the local police department and have them issue the ticket.

    The other example is, if a town has local ordinances or laws, then police outside that political boundary which enacted those laws can not enforce those laws, i.e. the state police can not write you a parking ticket for a local town.

    So unless the State has a law that say only the state police have jurisdiction over certain roads then any police office in the state can write a ticket which a state traffic law was broken.
    Last edited by Maestro64; 04-05-2010 at 02:04 PM.
  7. #7
    BOR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post
    I will help it make it a little more clear.

    Most all states have laws on the books with give all police departments in their state the ability to enforce state wide laws no matter where their home jurisdiction/political boundaries exist. So they can arrest you for any crime or write a ticket which are state laws anywhere in the state.
    Most states? I have to disagree with that proffered statement.


    However the fines and court you will have to deal with is location specific. So police can not go to a neighboring town write you a ticket or have you put in jail or stand for trial or pay fines in their local town
    .

    The Vicinage clause has never been incorporated to apply to the states by the SC, however, it is pretty much embodied in law either by common practice or state constitutional guarantees.

    The other example is, if a town has local ordinances or laws, then police outside that political boundary which enacted those laws can not enforce those laws, i.e. the state police can not write you a parking ticket for a local town.
    I don't know about your state, but in Ohio, the Highway patrol, even before the case law, can write a traffic ticket, parking included, in any city.
  8. #8
    Maestro64 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOR View Post
    Most states? I have to disagree with that proffered statement.


    .

    The Vicinage clause has never been incorporated to apply to the states by the SC, however, it is pretty much embodied in law either by common practice or state constitutional guarantees.



    I don't know about your state, but in Ohio, the Highway patrol, even before the case law, can write a traffic ticket, parking included, in any city.
    How do they write a city parking ticket when most cities have specific ticket for parking which outline the fine and where to pay it. You need to research this more, since Police enforcement power is granted by what is known as the political entity. So only local police can enforce local laws unless the state gives them specific powers to enforce laws across the entire state. But the state can not give all police forces the right to enforce local laws at all local levels unless the specific location writes into its laws they can be enforces by anyone.

    This is why most all states have laws they say that police outside its state boundaries can pursue a criminal into into its states. In the past the police had to stop at the boarders.

    I live in PA and PA and OH are both commonwealths as such they follow very similar common laws and as with the laws between the Fed and States, there is a thing called states rights there are similar things between state level and local level governments. It is no different then the FBI can not go into OH and write traffic ticket
  9. #9
    BOR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post
    How do they write a city parking ticket when most cities have specific ticket for parking which outline the fine and where to pay it. You need to research this more, since Police enforcement power is granted by what is known as the political entity. So only local police can enforce local laws unless the state gives them specific powers to enforce laws across the entire state. But the state can not give all police forces the right to enforce local laws at all local levels unless the specific location writes into its laws they can be enforces by anyone.
    Did you read the case I cited? Statutory law DID limit an officer's jurisdiction, but the OSC ruled otherwise. As I said though, the OHP is not subject to a traffic jurisdictional limit. Edit: IF an officer out of jurisdiction cites a person, it would be under state law, NOT the city's law he is in. A fine schedule for MM's is in place as they can NOT exceed 150.00 whether cited under state law or city law.

    This is why most all states have laws they say that police outside its state boundaries can pursue a criminal into into its states. In the past the police had to stop at the boarders.
    Yes, Ohio has a fresh pursuit law in the ORC, this has been in existence forever. Whether it is patterend after the Uniform Fresh pursuit act, I would have to check the legislative history, but it is law, the same with Uniform extradition of cross state criminals.

    I live in PA and PA and OH are both commonwealths as such they follow very similar common laws and as with the laws between the Fed and States, there is a thing called states rights there are similar things between state level and local level governments.
    Ohio is not a Commonwealth. The name is simply ceremonial, as those that are named such, such as Virginia and Kentucky, are still subject to the federal constitution.

    It is no different then the FBI can not go into OH and write traffic ticket
    The FBI has no police power in any state for state traffic offenses.

    On federal lands where there is no such laws, but I know the CFR contains some, whatever entity is in place, the National Forest service ranger, National park police etc. under the Assimilitive Crimes Act, the feds can charge a violation of that states law if no corresponding law is federal.

    Say a crime is committed in Yosemite, BUT, no law is in place in the federal code for it, the feds can charge the person with a violation of CA law, but on the federal level.
    Last edited by BOR; 04-05-2010 at 04:16 PM.
  10. #10
    flfmmqp is offline Junior Member
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    What is the OHP? Is that Ohio Highway Police?

    "SITTING, as in purposely in a neighboring jurisdiction to accomplish this goal is a violation of department policy and taxpayer money."

    So you are saying that if a police officer was sitting in a parking lot in Warren county and gave a ticket to someone for supposedly violating a traffic violation such as a traffic light violation in Hamilton County (His county) that this would be improper procedure? If so where would one find this in the ORC? I have a feeling I am still misunderstanding though.

    I really do appreciate this discussion. It is amazing how complicated the law is.
  11. #11
    BOR
    BOR is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by flfmmqp View Post
    What is the OHP? Is that Ohio Highway Police?
    As I said earlier, the Ohio Highway Patrol.

    BOR; "SITTING, as in purposely in a neighboring jurisdiction to accomplish this goal is a violation of department policy and taxpayer money."
    So you are saying that if a police officer was sitting in a parking lot in Warren county and gave a ticket to someone for supposedly violating a traffic violation such as a traffic light violation in Hamilton County (His county) that this would be improper procedure? If so where would one find this in the ORC? I have a feeling I am still misunderstanding though.
    You misconstrue it. The officer is paid by the jurisdiction that hired him. In the course of traveling or so called "borderline jurisdiction" it is not a daily practice to patrol the other jurisdiction. If an officer made it a habit of leaving thier jurisdiction, it is a violation of department rules.

    Say the officer from X sits in Y as a better vantage point to catch speeders in his X, this is an example of what I meant. If while in Y he catches a speeder in Y, even though from X, he can legally cite them.

    I really do appreciate this discussion. It is amazing how complicated the law is.
    No problem. I took Criminal law as my Major in College here in Ohio and try to keep up with it.

    The case I posted cites the Terry v. Ohio case, it was a Cleveland case. One of most landmark 4th AM decisions the US SC ever handed down.
  12. #12
    flfmmqp is offline Junior Member
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    So it is not like the Police officer did anything wrong (technically) by sitting in another county however by doing so he is pushing the envelope.

    Not something that can get you off of a ticket but would it do any good to point this out? Not something you drag out but the idea is to bring out the fact that the officer could be using bad judgement. I would think anything to show that the Police Officer was not following everything to the letter of the law brings some doubt to his testimoney right?
  13. #13
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by flfmmqp View Post
    I would think anything to show that the Police Officer was not following everything to the letter of the law brings some doubt to his testimoney right?
    But...he WAS following the letter of the law
  14. #14
    flfmmqp is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    But...he WAS following the letter of the law
    Was he though? It does not sound like it is normal procedure to sit in someone else's jurisdiction to arrest someone in yours. I don't think he asked permission to give out speeding tickets from that spot. I think other counties might take some offense to that. Then again maybe that is just everyday common practice but I have a gut feeling it is not.

    A little more insight into this one is that their was an accident at this intersection at this time. I don't think the police officer checked into the accident or checked to see if they were okay. No other emergency personel was at this spot yet. I didn't even hear any sirens until he came after me. I have a gut feeling, from the questions I asked him, that he will say the accident was not in his jurisdiction so he felt it was not something he could do much about. So I wonder how he could not check on accident victims in another jurisidiction but yet could sit in that jurisdicition to give out tickets??

    Now if I question him he might just say, Hey I checked on them and they were fine. I even called it in. Which is exactly what I would expect him to do. He was very short and up tight about it when I mentioned the accident though. If I were the officer I would have pulled behind the accident and turned on my lights to give a warning to oncoming cars that an accident was ahead and that you need to move over.
    Last edited by flfmmqp; 04-07-2010 at 02:44 PM.
  15. #15
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by flfmmqp View Post
    Was he though? It does not sound like it is normal procedure to sit in someone else's jurisdiction to arrest someone in yours...
    YOU are the one who used the phrase "Letter of the law". Procedures don't necessarily = LAW.

    At my house, I am allowed to keep the front door open 24/7...there is no law against it. It is my PROCEDURE to not do so, and I'd get pretty darned ticked if someone else in the household left the door open...but it is not against the "Letter of the law".

    (See how that works?)

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