Any party adversely affected by an order of the hearing officer under section 1571.14 of the Revised Code may appeal to the court of common pleas of any county in which the well, or part of the gas storage reservoir, or part of the coal mine, involved in the order of the hearing officer which is being appealed, is located. Any party desiring to so appeal shall file with the director of natural resources a notice of appeal designating the order appealed from and stating whether the appeal is taken on questions of law or questions of law and fact. A copy of such notice shall also be filed by appellant with the court and shall be mailed or otherwise delivered to appellee. The notice shall be filed and mailed or otherwise delivered within thirty days after the date upon which appellant received notice from the hearing officer by registered mail of the making of the order appealed from. No appeal bond shall be required to make either an appeal on questions of law or an appeal on questions of law and fact effective.
The filing of a notice of appeal shall not automatically operate as a suspension of the order of the hearing officer. If it appears to the court that an unjust hardship to the appellant will result from the execution of the hearing officer's order pending determination of the appeal, the court may grant a suspension of such order and fix its terms.
Within fifteen days after receipt of the notice of appeal the hearing officer shall prepare and file in the court the complete record of proceedings out of which the appeal arises, including a transcript of the testimony and other evidence which has been submitted before him. The expense of preparing and transcribing such record shall be taxed as a part of the costs of the appeal. Appellant shall provide security for costs satisfactory to the court. Upon demand by a party the director shall furnish at the cost of the party requesting the same a copy of such record. In the event such complete record is not filed in the court within the time provided for in this section either party may apply to the court to have the case docketed, and the court shall order such record filed.
Appeals taken on questions of law shall be heard upon assignments of error filed in the cause or set out in the briefs of the appellant before the hearing. Errors not argued by brief may be disregarded, but the court may consider and decide errors which are not assigned or argued. Failure to file such briefs and assignments of error within the time prescribed by the court's rules shall be a cause for dismissal of such appeal.
In appeals taken on questions of law and fact, the hearing in the court shall be a hearing de novo of the appeal heard by the hearing officer in which the order appealed from was made. In such hearings any party may offer as evidence any part of the record of the proceedings out of which the appeal arises, certified to the court as provided for in this section, and any other evidence which the court deems admissible.
If the court finds that the order of the hearing officer appealed from was lawful and reasonable, it shall affirm such order. If the court finds that such order was unreasonable or unlawful, it shall vacate such order and make the order which it finds the hearing officer should have made. The judgment of the court is final unless reversed, vacated, or modified on appeal as in civil actions.
Effective Date: 10-29-1995