(A) Upon receiving a notice of protest pursuant to section 4517.50, 4517.53, 4517.54, or 4517.56 of the Revised Code, the motor vehicle dealers board shall set a time, which shall be within one hundred eighty days of such order, and place of hearing and send by certified mail a copy of the order to the franchisor, the protesting franchisee or dealer organization, and all individuals and groups that have requested notification by the board of protests to and decisions of the board. Subject to sections 119.01 to 119.13 of the Revised Code, the board shall designate an attorney at law as a hearing officer, who shall hear and consider the oral and documented evidence introduced by the parties and other interested individuals and groups, and issue his findings and recommendations to the board within thirty days following the close of the hearing.
(B) The parties may engage in discovery, prior to the hearing, in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure. The hearing examiner may continue the hearing date, beyond one hundred eighty days of the board's order, by agreement of the parties, or upon a finding of good cause, including but not limited to the failure of either party to allow relevant discovery.
(C) In any hearing on a protest filed pursuant to section 4517.50, 4517.53, 4517.54, or 4517.56 of the Revised Code, the franchisor shall have the burden of going forward and of persuasion to establish that there is good cause for the franchisor: to establish or relocate an additional motor vehicle dealer; to terminate, discontinue, or not renew a franchise; to fail or refuse to approve a sale or transfer of all or a controlling interest in a franchise; or that recall reimbursement schedules or formulas or the schedules of compensation are reasonable.
(D) Only the public members of the board and the hearing officer designated by the board shall participate in, deliberate on, hear, consider, or decide any matter filed pursuant to section 4517.50, 4517.53, 4517.54, or 4517.56 of the Revised Code. The public members shall act by majority vote.
Effective Date: 10-22-1987