4717.03 Organization of board.

(A) Members of the board of embalmers and funeral directors shall annually in July, or within thirty days after the senate's confirmation of the new members appointed in that year, meet and organize by selecting from among its members a president, vice-president, and secretary-treasurer. The board may hold other meetings as it determines necessary. A quorum of the board consists of four members, of whom at least three shall be members who are embalmers and funeral directors. The concurrence of at least four members is necessary for the board to take any action. The president and secretary-treasurer shall sign all licenses issued under this chapter and affix the board's seal to each license.

(B) The board may appoint an individual who is not a member of the board to serve as executive director of the board. The executive director serves at the pleasure of the board and shall do all of the following:

(1) Serve as the board's chief administrative officer;

(2) Act as custodian of the board's records;

(3) Execute all of the board's orders;

(4) Employ staff who are not members of the board and who serve at the pleasure of the executive director to provide any assistance that the board considers necessary.

(C) In executing the board's orders as required by division (B)(3) of this section, the executive director may enter the premises, establishment, office, or place of business of any embalmer, funeral director, or operator of a crematory facility in this state. The executive director may serve and execute any process issued by any court under this chapter.

(D) The executive director may employ necessary inspectors, who shall be licensed embalmers and funeral directors. An inspector employed by the executive director may enter the premises, establishment, office, or place of business of any embalmer, funeral director, or operator of a crematory facility in this state, for the purposes of inspecting the facility and premises; the license and registration of embalmers and funeral directors operating in the facility; and the license of the funeral home, embalming facility, or crematory facility and perform any other duties delegated to the inspector by the board or assigned to the inspector by the executive director. The executive director may enter the facility or premises of a funeral home, embalming facility, or crematory for the purpose of an inspection if accompanied by an inspector or, if an inspector is not available, when a situation presents a danger of immediate and serious harm to the public.

(E) The president of the board shall designate three of the board's members to serve on the crematory review board, which is hereby created, for such time as the president finds appropriate to carry out the provisions of this chapter. Those members of the crematory review board designated by the president to serve and three members designated by the cemetery dispute resolution commission shall designate, by a majority vote, one person who is experienced in the operation of a crematory facility and who is not affiliated with a cemetery or a funeral home to serve on the crematory review board for such time as the crematory review board finds appropriate. Members serving on the crematory review board shall not receive any additional compensation for serving on the board, but may be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official duties as members of the board. Members of the crematory review board shall designate one from among its members to serve as a chairperson for such time as the board finds appropriate. Costs associated with conducting an adjudicatory hearing in accordance with division (F) of this section shall be paid from funds available to the board of embalmers and funeral directors.

(F) Upon receiving written notice from the board of embalmers and funeral directors of any of the following, the crematory review board shall conduct an adjudicatory hearing on the matter in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, except as otherwise provided in this section or division (C) of section 4717.14 of the Revised Code:

(1) Notice provided under division (I) of this section of an alleged violation of any provision of this chapter or any rules adopted under this chapter governing or in connection with crematory facilities or cremation;

(2) Notice provided under division (B) of section 4717.14 of the Revised Code that the board of embalmers and funeral directors proposes to refuse to grant or renew, or to suspend or revoke, a license to operate a crematory facility;

(3) Notice provided under division (C) of section 4717.14 of the Revised Code that the board of embalmers and funeral directors has issued an order summarily suspending a license to operate a crematory facility;

(4) Notice provided under division (B) of section 4717.15 of the Revised Code that the board of embalmers and funeral directors proposes to issue a notice of violation and order requiring payment of a forfeiture for any violation described in divisions (A)(9)(a) to (g) of section 4717.04 of the Revised Code alleged in connection with a crematory facility or cremation.

Nothing in division (F) of this section precludes the crematory review board from appointing an independent examiner in accordance with section 119.09 of the Revised Code to conduct any adjudication hearing required under division (F) of this section.

The crematory review board shall submit a written report of findings and advisory recommendations, and a written transcript of its proceedings, to the board of embalmers and funeral directors. The board of embalmers and funeral directors shall serve a copy of the written report of the crematory review board's findings and advisory recommendations on the party to the adjudication or the party's attorney, by certified mail, within five days after receiving the report and advisory recommendations. A party may file objections to the written report with the board of embalmers and funeral directors within ten days after receiving the report. No written report is final or appealable until it is issued as a final order by the board of embalmers and funeral directors and entered on the record of the proceedings. The board of embalmers and funeral directors shall consider objections filed by the party prior to issuing a final order. After reviewing the findings and advisory recommendations of the crematory review board, the written transcript of the crematory review board's proceedings, and any objections filed by a party, the board of embalmers and funeral directors shall issue a final order in the matter. Any party may appeal the final order issued by the board of embalmers and funeral directors in a matter described in divisions (F)(1) to (4) of this section in accordance with section 119.12 of the Revised Code, except that the appeal may be made to the court of common pleas in the county in which is located the crematory facility to which the final order pertains, or in the county in which the party resides.

(G) On its own initiative or on receiving a written complaint from any person whose identity is made known to the board of embalmers and funeral directors, the board shall investigate the acts or practices of any person holding or claiming to hold a license or registration under this chapter that, if proven to have occurred, would violate this chapter or any rules adopted under it. The board may compel witnesses by subpoena to appear and testify in relation to investigations conducted under this chapter and may require by subpoena duces tecum the production of any book, paper, or document pertaining to an investigation. If a person does not comply with a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum, the board may apply to the court of common pleas of any county in this state for an order compelling the person to comply with the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum, or for failure to do so, to be held in contempt of court.

(H) If, as a result of its investigation conducted under division (G) of this section, the board of embalmers and funeral directors has reasonable cause to believe that the person investigated is violating any provision of this chapter or any rules adopted under this chapter governing or in connection with embalming, funeral directing, funeral homes, embalming facilities, or the operation of funeral homes or embalming facilities, it may, after providing the opportunity for an adjudicatory hearing, issue an order directing the person to cease the acts or practices that constitute the violation. The board shall conduct the adjudicatory hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code except that, notwithstanding the provisions of that chapter, the following shall apply:

(1) The board shall send the notice informing the person of the person's right to a hearing by certified mail.

(2) The person is entitled to a hearing only if the person requests a hearing and if the board receives the request within thirty days after the mailing of the notice described in division (H)(1) of this section.

(3) A stenographic record shall be taken, in the manner prescribed in section 119.09 of the Revised Code, at every adjudicatory hearing held under this section, regardless of whether the record may be the basis of an appeal to a court.

(I) If, as a result of its investigation conducted under division (G) of this section, the board of embalmers and funeral directors has reasonable cause to believe that the person investigated is violating any provision of this chapter or any rules adopted under this chapter governing or in connection with crematory facilities or cremation, the board shall send written notice of the alleged violation to the crematory review board. If, after the conclusion of the adjudicatory hearing in the matter conducted under division (F) of this section, the board of embalmers and funeral directors finds that a person is in violation of any provision of this chapter or any rules adopted under this chapter governing or in connection with crematory facilities or cremation, the board may issue a final order under that division directing the person to cease the acts or practices that constitute the violation.

(J) The board of embalmers and funeral directors may bring a civil action to enjoin any violation or threatened violation of sections 4717.01 to 4717.15 of the Revised Code or a rule adopted under any of those sections; division (A) or (B) of section 4717.23; division (B)(1) or (2), (C)(1) or (2), (D), (E), or (F)(1) or (2), or divisions (H) to (K) of section 4717.26; division (D)(1) of section 4717.27; divisions (A) to (C) of section 4717.28, or division (D) or (E) of section 4717.31 of the Revised Code. The action shall be brought in the county where the violation occurred or the threatened violation is expected to occur. At the request of the board, the attorney general shall represent the board in any matter arising under this chapter.

(K) The board of embalmers and funeral directors and the crematory review board may issue subpoenas for funeral directors and embalmers or persons holding themselves out as such, for operators of crematory facilities or persons holding themselves out as such, or for any other person whose testimony, in the opinion of either board, is necessary. The subpoena shall require the person to appear before the appropriate board or any designated member of either board, upon any hearing conducted under this chapter. The penalty for disobedience to the command of such a subpoena is the same as for refusal to answer such a process issued under authority of the court of common pleas.

(L) All moneys received by the board of embalmers and funeral directors from any source shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the occupational licensing and regulatory fund created in section 4743.05 of the Revised Code.

(M) The board of embalmers and funeral directors shall submit a written report to the governor on or before the first Monday of July of each year. This report shall contain a detailed statement of the nature and amount of the board's receipts and the amount and manner of its expenditures.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Effective Date: 09-29-1999; 2008 SB129 07-06-2009