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Lawyer Mark: Questions on hunting, liability and toy guns

Dear Lawyer Mark: I have a question now that bow season is near.


What I want to know is this – do I need a license to deer hunt on my grandfather’s farm? I’ve had different people give me different answers to this question.


Dear Hunter: Well, the answer to your question depends on your age. There is an exception in the Revised Code to the requirement of having a hunting license. The exception allows landowners and tenants to hunt on their own land without a license.

The exception also applies to the children and grandchildren of a landowner.

However, the statute limits the exemption to those grandchildren who are under 18 years of age. Therefore, your age determines whether or not you may hunt on your grandfather’s farm without a license. If you are not a minor, you will have to get a hunting license and a deer tag.

It should be noted that while you are not required to have a license to hunt on your own land (or your parents’ or grandparents’), you are still required to tag the deer and check it in. To tag it, you can just attach a piece of paper with your name, address and the date and time that the deer was taken. Then you should proceed to a check station to register the deer.

Dear Lawyer Mark: I was riding my four-wheeler on some public trails last week. I was going pretty fast and didn’t notice that a ground hog had dug up half the trail in front of me.

When I hit those holes, I got thrown off the four-wheeler.

I didn’t get seriously hurt, but I’m wondering whether I could sue the state for my trip to the emergency room.


Dear Hurting: Ohio law provides an immunity from liability to recreational users.

What this means is that if you are using someone else’s property (including the government’s) for a recreational purpose, you may not sue them for injuries received during the recreational activity.

Dear Lawyer Mark: I was watching a show the other day where they were talking about a guy who robbed a bank with a toy gun.

That got me to thinking–can you get arrested for “armed” robbery if the so-called weapon you use is just a toy?

It seems to me that you shouldn’t be able to, because you can’t really hurt anyone with a toy gun or knife.— JUST WONDERING

Dear Wondering: To be convicted of what is now called “aggravated robbery” on the basis of having a weapon, a person must have a deadly weapon under their control and display it, brandish it, indicate that he has it or use it.

Ohio code section 2923.11 defines a deadly weapon as any instrument, devise, or thing capable of inflicting death, something adapted for use as a weapon or used as a weapon.

While at first glance it may appear that a toy gun could not fit that definition, a Court of Appeals opinion in State v. Bonner said that where the defendant struck someone in the head with a toy gun, knocking the victim’s glasses off, the defendant could be convicted of aggravated assault because he could have bludgeoned the victim to death with the toy.

Dear Lawyer Mark: Like everyone else these days, it seems like I’m headed for divorce.

My wife and I don’t hate each other or anything, we just can’t agree on anything anymore.

Neither one of us has ever cheated on the other, and we don’t physically fight, we just have grown apart.

I don’t really want to break up our marriage, and I would hate to leave the kids, but it’s just no fun being married now.

I’ve asked around and I’ve been told that you can get a divorce just on the fact that you are incompatible.

Can you get a divorce just on those grounds? — INCOMPATIBLE IN IRONTON

Dear Incompatible: While divorce seems so prevalent today, I and most attorneys who practice domestic relations law typically find it to be the area of law that causes the most pain and grief to everyone involved, including the lawyers.

Divorce cases are especially hard on everybody when children are involved. Whether or not people end their marriage is a personal decision, but it is a decision that should be made with at least as much thought and consideration as the choice to get married.
As to your question, incompatibility is a ground for seeking divorce listed in R.C. Section 3105.01, and can be used for the basis of a divorce action unless it is denied by either of the parties.

If you sue for divorce on the grounds of incompatibility alone, and your wife denies it in her answer, the court won’t let you get the divorce.

It’s The Law is written by attorney Mark K. McCown in response to legal questions received by him. If you have a question, please forward it to Mark K. McCown, 311 Park Avenue, Ironton, Ohio 45638, or e-mail it to him at LawyerMark@yahoo.com. The right to condense and/or edit questions is reserved.