1334.08 Attorney general actions.

(A) If the attorney general, by his own inquiries or as a result of complaints has reasonable cause to believe that a person has engaged, is engaging, or threatening to engage in an act or practice that violates sections 1334.01 to 1334.15 of the Revised Code, he may bring any of the following actions:

(1) An action to obtain a declaratory judgment that the act or practice violates sections 1334.01 to 1334.15 of the Revised Code;

(2) An action to obtain a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction to restrain the act or practice. If the attorney general shows by a preponderance of the evidence that a seller or broker has violated, is violating, or is threatening to violate sections 1334.01 to 1334.15 of the Revised Code, the court may issue a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction to restrain the act or practice. On motion of the attorney general, or on its own motion, the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars for each violation of a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction issued under this section. The civil penalties shall be paid as provided in division (F) of this section.

(3) A class action under Civil Rule 23, as amended, on behalf of purchasers damaged by a violation of sections 1334.01 to 1334.15 of the Revised Code.

(B) On motion of the attorney general and without bond, in an attorney general's action under this section, the court may make appropriate orders, including appointment of a referee or a receiver, for sequestration of assets, to reimburse purchasers found to have been damaged, to carry out a transaction in accordance with a purchaser's reasonable expectations, to strike or limit the application of unconscionable clauses of agreements so as to avoid an unconscionable result, or to grant other appropriate relief. The court may assess the expenses of a referee or receiver against the seller or broker found to be in violation.

(C) Any money or property received by the attorney general in an action under this section that cannot with due diligence within five years be restored by a referee to purchasers shall be unclaimed funds reported under Chapter 169. of the Revised Code.

(D) In addition to the other remedies provided in this section, the attorney general may request and the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars against a seller or broker for each violation found by the court. The court shall not impose civil penalties under this division that exceed, in the aggregate, one hundred thousand dollars.

(E) If a court determines that provision has been made for reimbursement or other appropriate corrective action, insofar as practicable, with respect to all purchasers damaged by a violation, or in any other appropriate case, the attorney general, with court approval, may terminate enforcement proceedings brought by him upon acceptance of an assurance from a seller or broker of voluntary compliance with sections 1334.01 to 1334.15 of the Revised Code, with respect to the alleged violation. The assurance shall be filed with the court and entered as a consent judgment. Disregard of the terms of a consent judgment entered upon an assurance shall be treated as a violation of an injunction issued under this section.

(F) Civil penalties ordered pursuant to divisions (A) and (D) of this section shall be paid as follows: one-fourth of the amount to the treasurer of the county in which the action is brought and three-fourths to the treasurer of state to the credit of the general revenue fund.

Effective Date: 10-25-1979