4585.31 Auction sales of watercraft.

As used in sections 4585.31 to 4585.34 of the Revised Code, "owner of any property" or "owner of the property" means an owner, lessee, or other person entitled to possession of the property.

The owner of any property on which a watercraft or outboard motor valued at less than ten thousand dollars has been left for six months without permission may sell the watercraft or motor at public auction and recover the owner's maintenance or repair charges, including parts and labor charges and dockage or storage charges, if all of the following conditions are met:

(A) The owner of the property applies for a search of the records of the division of watercraft for the name and address of the owner of the watercraft or motor and for a search for any lien or mortgage thereon.

(B) Upon receiving the results of the searches, the owner of the property sends notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to:

(1) The last known address of the owner of the watercraft or motor, to remove the watercraft or motor;

(2) Any lienholder or mortgagee, stating where the watercraft or motor is located and any maintenance or repair charges, including parts and labor charges and dockage or storage charges. Unless the lienholder or mortgagee redeems the watercraft or motor within forty-five days after the return receipt is received by the sender, the lien or mortgage is invalid. The lienholder or mortgagee may, to the extent of the lienholder's or mortgagee's previously secured interest, assert a claim for any amount deposited in the county treasury for the watercraft or motor pursuant to section 4585.33 of the Revised Code.

(C) The watercraft or motor remains unredeemed by the owner, lienholder, or mortgagee for forty-five days after the return receipts are recovered by the sender.

(D) The owner of the property requests a watercraft dealer certified in accordance with section 1547.543 of the Revised Code or an independent marine surveyor and appraiser to appraise the watercraft or motor and secures written confirmation that the fair market value of the watercraft or motor is less than ten thousand dollars.

(E) The owner of the property advertises that the watercraft or motor will be sold at public auction. The advertisement of sale shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks in the auction section of a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the watercraft or motor has been left without permission. The advertisement shall include a description of the watercraft or motor, the name of the owner, and the date, time, and place of the sale.

(F) An auction sale is conducted on the property where the watercraft or motor was left without permission of the owner of the property, at which the highest bidder is the purchaser of the watercraft or motor. The owner of the property shall provide a reasonable period of time prior to the sale for prospective purchasers to examine the watercraft or motor. The owner of the property may bid at the sale.

(G) Immediately after the auction sale, the owner of the property executes an affidavit in triplicate, on a form prescribed by the secretary of state and provided by the clerk of courts, stating:

(1) That the requirements of this section have been met;

(2) The length of time that the watercraft or motor was left on the owner's property without permission, as of the date of the auction sale;

(3) The expenses incurred by the owner of the property in connection with the watercraft or motor as of the date of the auction sale, including the expenses of conducting the sale and, if the property is operated as a place of storage for charge, any accrued dockage or storage charges and any maintenance or repair charges, including parts and labor charges;

(4) The name and address of the purchaser of the watercraft or motor at the auction sale and the amount of the purchaser's bid.

(H) Upon payment of the bid price by the purchaser, the owner of the property presents the affidavit in triplicate required by division (G) of this section, the written confirmation of value required by division (D) of this section, and the return receipts required by division (B) of this section to the purchaser of the watercraft or motor.

Effective Date: 07-05-2002