City of Cincinnati v. Alexander, No. 77-1044

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Ohio
Writing for the CourtSTEPHENSON; C. WILLIAM O'NEILL; STEPHENSON, J., of the Fourth Appellate District, sitting for WILLIAM B. BROWN
Citation375 N.E.2d 1241,8 O.O.3d 224,54 Ohio St.2d 248
Decision Date17 May 1978
Docket NumberNo. 77-1044
Parties, 8 O.O.3d 224 CITY OF CINCINNATI, Appellee, v. ALEXANDER, Appellant.

Page 248

54 Ohio St.2d 248
375 N.E.2d 1241, 8 O.O.3d 224
CITY OF CINCINNATI, Appellee,
v.
ALEXANDER, Appellant.
No. 77-1044.
Supreme Court of Ohio.
May 17, 1978.
[375 N.E.2d 1242]
Syllabus by the Court

The authority granted in R.C. 2935.03 to a police officer to "arrest and detain a person found violating a law of this state" does not confer authority upon a municipal police officer to arrest without a warrant outside the geographical boundaries of his municipality for traffic offenses observed by the officer to have been committed outside such municipal limits.

On November 15, 1975, two on-duty city of Cincinnati police officers were proceeding from the Western Hills area of the city to the Sayler Park area of the city. To avoid

Page 249

circuity of travel, they proceeded via South Road which is located in Green Township. That township is adjacent to, but outside the geographical limits of, the city of Cincinnati, and is within Hamilton County. While proceeding on South Road and still outside the city limits, the officers observed an automobile driven by Paul Alexander, appellant, fail to stop at a stop sign upon a road intersecting South Road.

Appellant was stopped, observed to be under the influence of alcohol and was arrested for the stop-sign violation, which offense is proscribed by R.C. 4511.43, and also for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, which offense is proscribed by R.C. 4511.19. A breath-analysis test was given which resulted in a reading of .17 of blood alcohol.

Appellant thereafter filed a motion seeking, alternatively, either dismissal of the charges or suppression of the testimony of the officers upon the ground that the officers were without authority to arrest the appellant outside the corporate limits of Cincinnati. The motion was overruled on March 17, 1976, renewed prior to trial on June 10, 1976, and again overruled.

Appellant was convicted of violating R.C. 4511.19 following a trial by jury, and of violating R.C. 4511.43 by the court. Sentence was imposed accordingly. Upon appeal to the Court of Appeals, the Judgments were affirmed upon the basis that [375 N.E.2d 1243] the arrests were valid by virtue of arrest authority granted to police officers by R.C. 2935.03. (Palmer, J., dissented.) Upon motion, the record of the case was certified by the Court of Appeals to this court for review and final determination upon the basis of conflict of its judgment with the judgment of the Court of Appeals for Franklin County in State v. Wallace (1976), 50 Ohio App.2d 78, 361 N.E.2d 516.

Thomas A. Luebbers, City Sol., Paul J. Gorman and John M. DiPuccio, Cincinnati, for appellee.

Boyd & McKew and David J. Boyd, Cincinnati, for appellant.

Page 250

STEPHENSON, Justice.

The issue presented, for the first time in this court, is whether R.C. 2935.03 confers upon a municipal police officer authority to arrest without a warrant outside the geographical limits of his municipality for misdemeanor offenses observed by the officer to have been committed outside such municipal limits.

R.C. 2935.03, at the time relevant herein, read as follows:

"A sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, or police officer shall arrest and detain a person found violating a law of this state, or an ordinance of a municipal corporation, until a warrant can be obtained.

"When there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense of violence, or a theft offense as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, has been committed, a sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, or police officer may arrest without a warrant any person whom he has reasonable cause to believe is guilty of the violation, and detain him until a warrant can be obtained.

"A constable within the limits of the township in which said constable has been appointed or elected, shall arrest and detain a person found by him in the commission of a misdemeanor, either in violation of a law of this state or an ordinance of a village, until a warrant can be obtained."

This court concluded in Fairborn v. Munkus (1971), 28 Ohio St.2d 207, 277 N.E.2d 227, that a municipal police officer is an "officer," as that term is used in R.C. Chapter 2935. Thus a municipal police officer is a "police officer" within the meaning of that term in R.C. 2935.03. Although so included, we hold that R.C. 2935.02 does not confer arrest authority upon a municipal police officer under the facts of this case for the reasons hereinafter set forth. 1

Page 251

An examination of the legislative history of R.C. 2935.03 and related statutes negates the claim that the General Assembly intended to devolve statewide arrest powers upon the officers named in the first paragraph of the statute by the omission of a territorial restriction to the respective political subdivisions relating to the enumerated officers.

What is substantially now the first paragraph of R.C. 2935.03 first appeared in the 1869 enactment by the General Assembly of a "Code of Criminal Procedure." Section 21 of that Act, at 66 Ohio Laws 287, 291, provided the following:

"Every sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, marshal or deputy marshal, watchman or police officer, shall arrest and detain any persons found violating any law of this state, or any legal ordinance of any city or incorporated village, until a legal warrant can be obtained." 2

[375 N.E.2d 1244] In force at the time of adoption of Section 21 was a statute enacted on March 27, 1837, by the General Assembly as a part of an Act "Defining the powers and duties of Justices of the Peace and Constables in Criminal Cases." 35 Ohio Laws 87. That Act, at Section 25, read as follows:

"Sec. 25. Constables shall be ministerial officers of the courts holden by justices of the peace, in criminal cases, within their respective counties;

"Second, And it shall be their duty to apprehend and bring to justice, felons and disturbers of the peace, and to suppress riots, and keep and preserve the peace, within their respective counties ;

"Third, They shall have power, and they are hereby

Page 252

authorized to execute all writs and process in criminal cases, throughout the county in which they may reside, and where they were...

To continue reading

Request your trial
44 practice notes
  • Record Revolution No. 6 v. City of Parma, Ohio, No. C80-38.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • April 14, 1980
    ...regulations, as are not in conflict with general laws." Ohio Constitution, Article 18, Section 3. City of Cincinnati v. Alexander, 54 Ohio St.2d 248, 375 N.E.2d 1241 (1978); Prudential Co-Operative Realty Co. v. City of Youngstown, 492 F. Supp. 1178 118 Ohio St. 204, 160 N.E. 695 (1928......
  • State v. Brown, No. 2014–0104.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • June 23, 2015
    ...make a warrantless arrest to the geographical boundaries of the political subdivision employing the officer. Cincinnati v. Alexander, 54 Ohio St.2d 248, 252, 375 N.E.2d 1241 (1978) ( "the General Assembly intended 39 N.E.3d 500 no devolution of arrest power outside the respective polit......
  • State of Ohio, 93-LW-2058
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • September 8, 1993
    ...limited arrests to the officer's jurisdiction. It was a reflex to the Ohio Supreme Court's decision in Cincinnati v. Alexander (1978), 54 Ohio St. 2d 248, 375 N.E.2d 1241. Ohio Legislative Service Commission, Summary of Enactments (Aug. 1979-Dec. 1980), Am. Sub. S.B. 355, p.120. Additionall......
  • State v. McCoy, 2006 Ohio 56 (OH 1/5/2006), No. 05-CA-29.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • January 5, 2006
    ...a police officer does not have the statutory authority to arrest someone outside his jurisdiction, Cincinnati v. Alexander (1978), 54 Ohio St.2d 248, 8 O.O.3d 224, 375 N.E.2d 1241, and in our judgment, the same jurisdictional limitation applies to the execution of search warrant." Howe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
44 cases
  • Record Revolution No. 6 v. City of Parma, Ohio, No. C80-38.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • April 14, 1980
    ...regulations, as are not in conflict with general laws." Ohio Constitution, Article 18, Section 3. City of Cincinnati v. Alexander, 54 Ohio St.2d 248, 375 N.E.2d 1241 (1978); Prudential Co-Operative Realty Co. v. City of Youngstown, 492 F. Supp. 1178 118 Ohio St. 204, 160 N.E. 695 (1928......
  • State v. Brown, No. 2014–0104.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • June 23, 2015
    ...make a warrantless arrest to the geographical boundaries of the political subdivision employing the officer. Cincinnati v. Alexander, 54 Ohio St.2d 248, 252, 375 N.E.2d 1241 (1978) ( "the General Assembly intended 39 N.E.3d 500 no devolution of arrest power outside the respective polit......
  • State of Ohio, 93-LW-2058
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • September 8, 1993
    ...limited arrests to the officer's jurisdiction. It was a reflex to the Ohio Supreme Court's decision in Cincinnati v. Alexander (1978), 54 Ohio St. 2d 248, 375 N.E.2d 1241. Ohio Legislative Service Commission, Summary of Enactments (Aug. 1979-Dec. 1980), Am. Sub. S.B. 355, p.120. Additionall......
  • State v. McCoy, 2006 Ohio 56 (OH 1/5/2006), No. 05-CA-29.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • January 5, 2006
    ...a police officer does not have the statutory authority to arrest someone outside his jurisdiction, Cincinnati v. Alexander (1978), 54 Ohio St.2d 248, 8 O.O.3d 224, 375 N.E.2d 1241, and in our judgment, the same jurisdictional limitation applies to the execution of search warrant." Howe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT