Court to hear arguments on how new Ohio law defines victims

The Ohio Supreme Court agreed to hear a city’s argument that a victims’ rights law properly classified police departments as entities eligible for compensation as if they were individuals.

The issue before the high court involves the interpretation of a constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s law approved in 2017.

Among other changes to state law, the amendment expanded the definition of victim to someone “directly or proximately” harmed by a crime.

Attorneys for the Centerville Police Department near Dayton argue that the agency is due $1,375 in compensation for overtime worked by officers who responded to an April 2018 false report of an active shooter. The man accused of placing the false 911 call was convicted of making a false report and improper use of a 911 system.

Attorneys for the man argue that a municipality is not a person under the Ohio Constitution and therefore not eligible for financial restitution.

The court on Tuesday set oral arguments for June 2.