Chapter 4551: TRANSPORTATION OF CHRISTMAS TREES

4551.01 Requiring bill of sale or invoice.

Except in trucks and trailers licensed for and engaged in interstate commerce, any person who operates a truck, trailer, or other vehicle upon any public highway, road, or street in this state for the purpose of transporting five or more cut trees, or one hundred pounds or more of boughs, of any species of pine, spruce, fir, hemlock, or other narrow-leafed or broad-leafed evergreen tree or shrub, shall have upon his person during such transporting a bill of sale or invoice for such trees or boughs signed by the owner or custodian of the lands from which such trees or boughs were cut and removed.

Such bill of sale or invoice shall state:

(A) The date of sale;

(B) The number and species of trees, or pounds and species of boughs, being transported;

(C) The name of the township, county, and state where such lands are situated;

(D) The proper postal address of the landowner or custodian.

If such trees or boughs have been obtained from a dealer in such goods, the bill of sale or invoice need only show his name and the place of business from which the trees or boughs were obtained.

This section does not apply to the transportation of trees or boughs by or for the owner or custodian of lands from which such trees or boughs were cut or removed, or by or for an agent of either.

Effective Date: 08-23-1965

4551.02 Requiring true written statement.

Whenever any trees or boughs described in section 4551.01 of the Revised Code are being transported within this state by any person other than a person required by said section to have a bill of sale or invoice, a true written statement shall accompany such shipment, which written statement shall set forth:

(A) The location of the lands from which such trees or boughs were removed. Such statement of location shall include, but not be limited to, the township, county, and state in which said lands are located.

(B) The name, address, and telephone number of the owner of the lands from which such trees or boughs were removed;

(C) The name, address, and telephone number of the custodian of such lands if different from that of the owner. If the same, the statement shall so state.

(D) The name, address, and telephone number of the driver of the vehicle transporting such trees or boughs.

Such statement shall be signed by the owner or custodian of the lands from which such trees or boughs are removed or by the agent of either. The same written statement may be used for any number of shipments.

Effective Date: 02-21-1967

4551.03 Demand for proof of ownership.

Any forest or park officer, peace officer, or state highway patrol trooper of this state may stop any truck, trailer, or other vehicle engaged in the transporting of the evergreen trees or boughs described in section 4551.01 of the Revised Code, except trucks or trailers licensed for and engaged in interstate commerce, and require the operator to produce the bill, invoice, or statement of ownership required by sections 4551.01 and 4551.02 of the Revised Code as evidence of lawful ownership or custody of the cut trees or boughs. Failure to produce upon demand such bill of sale, invoice, or statement, or offering a bill of sale, invoice, or statement, that fails to provide the information required by such sections, is a violation of such sections; and such truck, trailer, or other vehicle together with its contents, shall be impounded by the investigating officer for a period of forty-eight hours, unless a satisfactory and genuine bill of sale, invoice, or statement is sooner presented.

Failure to furnish a satisfactory and genuine bill of sale, invoice, or statement within forty-eight hours from the time that such truck, trailer, or other vehicle is impounded constitutes prima-facie evidence that the trees or boughs so impounded are not the property of the person engaged in transporting them and that such person is unlawfully transporting such trees or boughs.

Effective Date: 08-08-1991

4551.04 Prohibition.

(A) No person shall transport trees or boughs described in section 4551.01 of the Revised Code in violation of sections 4551.01 to 4551.03 of the Revised Code.

(B) Whoever violates this section shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4551.05 Disposition of impounded trees.

At the discretion of the court before whom the defendant is brought for a violation of sections 4551.01 to 4551.03 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, the cut trees or boughs being transported at the time of the offense may immediately be disposed of at the highest obtainable price, and the money obtained from such sale shall be impounded by the court, pending determination of the ownership of such trees or boughs. If such owners are unknown and cannot be ascertained within thirty days after such sale, or if there is money remaining after the claims of known owners have been satisfied, all money thereafter remaining shall be paid to the local county welfare board for expenditures in aid to crippled or indigent children.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4551.99 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 01-01-2004