Location, Location, Location – It Really Does Matter
Last week, as I was nearing my exit on the drive home, my car stopped working. I managed to cruise along to a safe location with a wide, grassy verge – a better location for the tow truck – called my insurance company, and popped open a bottle of water. My insurance needed to know where I was. No problem, I was at the corner of Worthington and Beech, directly south-west of the 161 off-ramp. Everybody in the area knows where that is; my insurance company isn’t from the area, so they needed some more information.
Turns out, I was still in the city of New Albany, but I was also in Jersey Township. A few more feet west, and I would have been in Plain Township. Roughly a mile further south, I would have been in the City of Pataskala, and not too far from there, Jefferson Township.
Imagine if this wasn’t a car issue… Imagine if this was a criminal conviction for drug use. Imagine if this was a property code preventing you from building a new shed. Imagine if this was an evidentiary rule regarding the custody of your children. Imagine if where you were determined your rights.
Just a few miles away from this intersection, the City of Reynoldsburg faced this exact situation. Reynoldsburg is in three counties – Franklin, Licking, and Fairfield – and those counties offer different options for those being charged with non-violent drug offenses. One crime, one perpetrator, one city – but depending where in the city the crime was committed, three different justice systems. The City Attorney saw this concern and instituted a recovery court city-wide.
Likewise, just go east or west of Reynoldsburg, and you will run into the same distinctions, though with property code. Columbus, to the west, will take the property owner to environmental court, using a highly complex system of codes that they have drafted over the years to try and incentivize the exact result they are after. Reynoldsburg will selectively target certain landlords, using an international code that they have modified slightly. Etna and Pataskala, to the east, use their own specifically customized codes, though they have some overlays governing specific areas.
With every location having its own unique rules, laws, practices, and sometimes even definitions, you want an attorney with experience combing through administrative codes and local statutes. Often, these codes are not online, and we have to go through old paper copies and badly scanned PDFs. Knowing how to find the right information in these documents, how to craft a novel argument, and how to navigate through this murkiness for one’s client is a skill learned only through time and experience.
At Eques, we have developed this skill and expertise. With attorneys who practice in most counties across the state, and over 60 years of legal experience, we know how to look at your location, find your specific law, and make it work to your advantage. We will combine our shared knowledge and approach each matter with a unique, specialized view that presents your best opportunities.
Location does matter, but so does your voice, vision, and needs. Call us, no matter where you are in Ohio, and see what our team can solve for you!