3731.21 Enforcement.

(A) If a health official determines that an owner, keeper, or lessee has not complied with the requirements for sanitation specified in sections 3731.09 , 3731.11 , 3731.12 , and 3731.13 of the Revised Code, the health official shall notify the state fire marshal, and the state fire marshal may take any action permitted under this chapter that the state fire marshal determines is appropriate.

(B)

(1) Except as limited by division (B)(3) of this section, the state fire marshal, or other person representing the state fire marshal, may file a complaint with the attorney general, the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the hotel or structure that is the subject of the complaint is located, or both. Except as otherwise provided in divisions (B)(2) and (3) of this section, upon receipt of that complaint, the attorney general or prosecuting attorney may prosecute to termination before the court of common pleas of the county in which the hotel or structure that is the subject of the complaint is located a proper action or proceeding against any person violating this chapter.

(2) If the state fire marshal elects to file a complaint with both the attorney general and a county prosecutor, the following circumstances apply, as applicable:

(a) If both the attorney general and the county prosecutor determine that the complaint should be prosecuted, the state fire marshal shall do both of the following:

(i) Determine which one of those two entities should proceed with the complaint and request that entity to proceed;

(ii) Notify the entity not chosen pursuant to division (B)(2)(a)(i) of this section of the state fire marshal's determination and request that entity not to proceed with the complaint.

(b) If one of the entities determines, on the merits of the complaint, not to prosecute the complaint, the state fire marshal shall request the other entity not to proceed with the complaint.

(c) If one of the entities determines, for reasons other than the merits of the complaint, not to prosecute the complaint, the state fire marshal may request the other entity to proceed with the complaint.

(3) If the state fire marshal elects to file a complaint with either the attorney general or a county prosecutor, but not both, the following circumstances apply, as applicable:

(a) If the entity with which the state fire marshal files the complaint determines, for reasons other than the merits of the complaint, not to prosecute the complaint, the state fire marshal may file the complaint with the other entity.

(b) If the entity with which the state fire marshal files the complaint determines, on the merits of the complaint, not to prosecute the complaint, the state fire marshal shall not file the complaint with the other entity.

(C) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the attorney general and prosecuting attorney from collaborating on a prosecution.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953; 2008 SB237 09-12-2008