The sheriff of a county, chief of police of a municipal corporation, township, township police district, or joint police district, or other chief of a law enforcement agency, within the sheriff's or chief's respective territorial jurisdiction, or a state highway patrol trooper, upon notification to the sheriff or chief of such action and of the location of the place of storage, may order into storage any vessel or outboard motor that has been left in a sunken, beached, or drifting condition for any period of time, or in a docked condition, on a public street or other property open to the public, or upon or within the right-of-way of any waterway, road, or highway, for forty-eight hours or longer without notification to the sheriff or chief of the reasons for leaving the vessel or motor in any such place or condition. The sheriff or chief shall designate the place of storage of any vessel or motor ordered removed by the sheriff or chief.
The sheriff or chief shall immediately cause a search to be made of the records of the division of watercraft to ascertain the owner and any lienholder of a vessel or outboard motor ordered into storage by the sheriff or chief, and, if known, shall send notice to the owner and lienholder, if any, at the owner's or lienholder's last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the vessel or motor will be declared a nuisance and disposed of if not claimed within ten days of the date of mailing of the notice. The owner or lienholder of the vessel or motor may reclaim it upon payment of any expenses or charges incurred in its removal and storage, and presentation of proof of ownership, which may be evidenced by a certificate of title to the vessel or motor, certificate of United States coast guard documentation, or certificate of registration if the vessel or motor is not subject to titling under section 1548.01 of the Revised Code.
If the owner or lienholder makes no claim to the vessel or outboard motor within ten days of the date of mailing of the notice, and if the vessel or motor is to be disposed of at public auction as provided in section 1547.302 of the Revised Code, the sheriff or chief shall file with the clerk of courts of the county in which the place of storage is located an affidavit showing compliance with the requirements of this section. Upon presentation of the affidavit, the clerk of courts shall without charge issue a salvage certificate of title, free and clear of all liens and encumbrances, to the sheriff or chief and shall send a copy of the affidavit to the chief of the division of watercraft. If the vessel or motor is to be disposed of to a marine salvage dealer or other facility as provided in section 1547.302 of the Revised Code, the sheriff or chief shall execute in triplicate an affidavit, as prescribed by the chief of the division of watercraft, describing the vessel or motor and the manner in which it was disposed of, and that all requirements of this section have been complied with. The sheriff or chief shall retain the original of the affidavit for the sheriff's or chief's records and shall furnish two copies to the marine salvage dealer or other facility. Upon presentation of a copy of the affidavit by the marine salvage dealer or other facility, the clerk of courts shall issue to such owner a salvage certificate of title, free and clear of all liens and encumbrances.
Whenever the marine salvage dealer or other facility receives an affidavit for the disposal of a vessel or outboard motor as provided in this section, such owner shall not be required to obtain an Ohio certificate of title to the vessel or motor in the owner's own name if the vessel or motor is dismantled or destroyed and both copies of the affidavit are delivered to the clerk of courts. Upon receipt of such an affidavit, the clerk of courts shall send one copy of it to the chief of the division of watercraft.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.
Effective Date: 08-08-1991