4719.11 Conduct of investigations.

(A) If the attorney general, as a result of complaints or the attorney general's own inquiries, has reason to believe that a person has engaged, is engaging, or is preparing to engage in a violation of any provision of sections 4719.01 to 4719.18 of the Revised Code or a rule adopted under any provision of those sections, the attorney general may investigate the alleged violation.

(B) For purposes of an investigation under division (A) of this section, the attorney general may administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, adduce evidence, and require the production of any book, document, record, or other relevant matter. If the matter to be produced is located outside the state, the attorney general may designate representatives, including officials of the state in which the matter is located, to inspect the matter on the attorney general's behalf. 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 the attorney general's 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 a provision of sections 4719.01 to 4719.18 of the Revised Code. The attorney general may respond to similar requests from officials of other states.

(C) A person subpoenaed under this section may file a petition to extend the day on which the subpoena is to be returned or to modify or quash the subpoena, for good cause shown, in the court of common pleas of Franklin county or of the county in this state in which the person resides or in which the person's principal place of business is located. The person may file the petition at any time before the day of return specified in the subpoena or within twenty days after the service of the subpoena, whichever is the shorter period.

(D) A person subpoenaed under this section shall comply with the terms of the subpoena unless, prior to the date for return specified in the subpoena or as extended, the court orders otherwise. 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 for an order that does one or more of the following:

(1) Adjudges the person in contempt of court;

(2) Grants injunctive relief to restrain the person from engaging in conduct that violates a provision of sections 4719.01 to 4719.18 of the Revised Code;

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

(4) Grants other relief that may be required until the person obeys the subpoena.

(E) If a person violates an order of a court issued under this section, the court shall punish the violation as a violation of an injunction issued under section 4719.12 of the Revised Code.

(F) If an individual refuses to testify or to produce relevant matter on the ground that the testimony or matter may incriminate the individual, the attorney general may request that a court order the individual to provide the testimony or matter. With the exception of a prosecution for perjury and an action for damages under section 4719.15 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 the individual 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: 12-05-1996