Today, September 7, 2017, McGown & Markling had the honor and privilege of filing an amicus curiae preliminary memorandum with the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of the Ohio School Boards Association (“OSBA”) and in support of the Olentangy Local School District Board of Education on (1) whether R.C. 2151.421 imposes civil liability upon a school board for the school board itself not reporting known or suspected child abuse or neglect, (2) whether R.C. 2151.421 imposes vicarious civil liability upon a school board for a school board employee not reporting known or suspected child abuse or neglect to either children services or peace officers, and (3) whether any civil liability that may be imposed upon a school board – individually or vicariously – under R.C. 2151.421 rises to the heightened level of “express” civil liability required to trigger the narrow R.C. 2744.02(B)(5) immunity exception to the statutory immunity afforded a school board under R.C. Chapter 2744.
The answers to these important issues are being requested by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio because the federal court believes that there is no controlling precedent by the Ohio Supreme Court and that the answers to these issues will determine the outcome of the pending federal case of I. B. v. Olentangy Local School District Board of Education, S.D.Ohio Case No. 2:16-CV-837.
The preliminary memorandum filed by McGown & Markling on behalf of OSBA can be read by clicking here.
McGown & Markling will continue to provide updates as the Ohio Supreme Court addresses these very important issues.
McGown & Markling represented OSBA through OSBA’s Legal Assistance Fund (“LAF”), which supports school districts that are defending legal challenges with the potential to affect public schools statewide. If you would like to discuss potential LAF assistance for your public school district, please contact OSBA’s division of legal services. More information about the LAF and an application to join or request assistance is available by clicking here.
Authors: Matthew John Markling and Patrick Vrobel
Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.