Know your gun rights and a “Relief from Disability”! The right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is a fundamental liberty. Many of my friends know about my enthusiasm for firearms and the Second Amendment. When one of my hobbies overlaps with my legal practice, I really get to have fun!
However not all of my clients can legally possess or own firearms. People who have been convicted of certain crimes can be stripped of their fundamental Second Amendment rights. The law calls this a “disability.” And if these clients own or even just possess a gun, they could be charged with a new crime, known as having a weapon under disability.
But what the law taketh, the law can return…eth. Under Ohio Revised Code § 2923.14, individuals who have been disqualified from owning or possessing firearms can file an application in court to have those rights re-instated, known as “relief from disability.”
Logically, one would think that the application filed would be in criminal court in the same case which imposed the disability in the first place. Ohio Revised Code § 2923.14, like many laws, does not actually follow logic. In fact, it states that a person so prohibited must file the relief application inhis/her county of residence, not necessarily the county where he or she was convicted. The reason is that the county of residence has the greatest interest in regulating possession of firearms. Because the client, not the prosecutor, is the one asking the court to do something, the application must be filed as a new civil case.
There is however a problem in filing these relief applications in Montgomery County, well there was. In 2009, the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts instituted electronic filing of civil cases. There are several categories are available when filing a civil originating document ranging from personal injury and administrative appeal to forcible entry and vexatious litigator. All these filing categories have their own requirements, there is however an option to file a matter as “Civil All Other.” It appears that this option would be the correct one, however in filing a Civil All Other matter, the e-filing system generates a summons as the document filed is a complaint.
In trying to file a 2923.14 application for a client in Montgomery County, I discovered the above issues. Through conversations with the Montgomery County Clerk’s Office this past week I was able to discuss this issue and it was determined that a new category was needed for § 2923.14 applications. Now, when filing an application under Ohio Revised Code § 2923.14 we have “Application for Relief from Weapons Disability ORC 2923.14 – CVAP/ARWD”!
Unfortunately the new, correct filing category does not do anything to lower the filing fee, but I’m working on it.
If you or someone you know wants to try to restore their Second Amendment right to bear arms, call, email or fill out the form on this page for a FREE initial consult today.
– Erik R. Blaine, Esq.