4549.47 Attorney general investigations.

(A) If by his own inquiries or as a result of complaints, the attorney general has reason to believe that a person has engaged, is engaging, or is preparing to engage, in a violation of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code, he may investigate.

(B) For this purpose the attorney general may administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, adduce evidence, and require the production of relevant matter.

If the matter that the attorney general requires to be produced is located outside the state, he may designate representatives, including officials of the state in which the matter is located, to inspect the matter on his behalf, and he may respond to similar requests from officials of other states. The person subpoenaed may make the matter available to the attorney general at a convenient location within the state or pay the reasonable and necessary expenses for the attorney general or his representative to examine the matter at the place where it is located, provided that expenses shall not be charged to a party not subsequently found to have engaged in a violation of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code.

(C) At any time before the return day specified in the subpoena, or within twenty days after the subpoena has been served, whichever period is shorter, a petition to extend the return day, or to modify or quash the subpoena, stating good cause, may be filed in the court of common pleas in Franklin county or in the county where the person served resides or has his principal place of business.

(D) A person subpoenaed under this section shall comply with the terms of the subpoena unless otherwise provided by court order entered prior to the day for return contained in the subpoena or as extended by the court. If a person fails without lawful excuse to obey a subpoena or to produce relevant matter, the attorney general may apply to a court of common pleas and obtain an order doing any of the following:

(1) Adjudging the person in contempt of court;

(2) Granting injunctive relief to restrain the person from engaging in any conduct that violates sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code;

(3) Granting injunctive relief to preserve or restore the status quo;

(4) Granting such other relief as may be required until the person obeys the subpoena.

If a person violates any order entered by a court under this section, the violation shall be punished as a violation of an injunction issued under division (A) of section 4549.48 of the Revised Code.

(E) The attorney general may request that an individual who refuses to testify or to produce relevant matter on the ground that the testimony or matter may incriminate him be ordered by the court to provide the testimony or matter. With the exception of a prosecution for perjury and an action for damages under section 4549.49 of the Revised Code, an individual who complies with a court order to provide testimony or matter, after asserting a privilege against self-incrimination to which he is entitled by law, shall not be subjected to a criminal proceeding on the basis of the testimony or matter required to be disclosed or testimony or matter discovered through that testimony or matter.

Effective Date: 09-06-1977