1345.07 Remedies of attorney general.

(A) If the attorney general, by the attorney general's own inquiries or as a result of complaints, has reasonable cause to believe that a supplier has engaged or is engaging in an act or practice that violates this chapter, and that the action would be in the public interest, the attorney general may bring any of the following:

(1) An action to obtain a declaratory judgment that the act or practice violates section 1345.02 , 1345.03 , or 1345.031 of the Revised Code;

(2)

(a) An action, with notice as required by Civil Rule 65, 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 the supplier has violated or is violating section 1345.02 , 1345.03 , or 1345.031 of the Revised Code, the court may issue a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction to restrain and prevent the act or practice.

(b)

(i) Except as provided in division (A)(2)(b)(ii) of this section, on motion of the attorney general, or on its own motion, the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars for each day of violation of a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction issued under this section, if the supplier received notice of the action. The civil penalties shall be paid as provided in division (G) of this section.

(ii) If the court issues under this section a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction to restrain and prevent an act or practice that is a violation of section 1345.02 and division (A) of section 1349.81 of the Revised Code, on motion of the attorney general, or on its own motion, the court may impose a civil penalty of not less than five thousand dollars and not more than fifteen thousand dollars for each day of violation of the temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction, if the supplier received notice of the action. The civil penalties shall be paid as provided in division (G) of this section.

(c) Upon the commencement of an action under division (A)(2) of this section against a supplier who operates under a license, permit, certificate, commission, or other authorization issued by the supreme court or by a board, commission, department, division, or other agency of this state, the attorney general shall immediately notify the supreme court or agency that such an action has been commenced against the supplier.

(3) A class action under Civil Rule 23, as amended, on behalf of consumers who have engaged in consumer transactions in this state for damage caused by:

(a) An act or practice enumerated in division (B) or (D) of section 1345.02 of the Revised Code;

(b) Violation of a rule adopted under division (B)(2) of section 1345.05 of the Revised Code before the consumer transaction on which the action is based;

(c) An act or practice determined by a court of this state to violate section 1345.02 , 1345.03 , or 1345.031 of the Revised Code and committed after the decision containing the determination has been made available for public inspection under division (A)(3) of section 1345.05 of the Revised Code.

(B) On motion of the attorney general and without bond, in the 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 consumers found to have been damaged, to carry out a transaction in accordance with a consumer's reasonable expectations, to strike or limit the application of unconscionable clauses of contracts 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 supplier.

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

(D) In addition to the other remedies provided in this section, if the violation is an act or practice that was declared to be unfair, deceptive, or unconscionable by rule adopted pursuant to division (B)(2) of section 1345.05 of the Revised Code before the consumer transaction on which the action is based occurred or an act or practice that was determined by a court of this state to violate section 1345.02 , 1345.03 , or 1345.031 of the Revised Code and committed after the decision containing the court's determination was made available for public inspection pursuant to division (A)(3) of section 1345.05 of the Revised Code, the attorney general may request and the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars against the supplier. The civil penalties shall be paid as provided in division (G) of this section.

(E) No action may be brought by the attorney general under this section to recover for a transaction more than two years after the occurrence of a violation.

(F) If a court determines that provision has been made for reimbursement or other appropriate corrective action, insofar as practicable, with respect to all consumers damaged by a violation, or in any other appropriate case, the attorney general, with court approval, may terminate enforcement proceedings brought by the attorney general upon acceptance of an assurance from the supplier of voluntary compliance with Chapter 1345. of the Revised Code, with respect to the alleged violation. The assurance shall be filed with the court and entered as a consent judgment. Except as provided in division (A) of section 1345.10 of the Revised Code, a consent judgment is not evidence of prior violation of such chapter. 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.

(G) 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 consumer protection enforcement fund created by section 1345.51 of the Revised Code.

(H) The remedies available to the attorney general under this section are cumulative and concurrent, and the exercise of one remedy by the attorney general does not preclude or require the exercise of any other remedy. The attorney general is not required to use any procedure set forth in section 1345.06 of the Revised Code prior to the exercise of any remedy set forth in this section.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.31, SB 84, §1, eff. 9/30/2011.

Effective Date: 03-18-1987; 01-01-2007