The Ohio real estate commission or the superintendent of real estate may compel, by order or subpoena, the attendance of witnesses to testify in relation to any matter over which the commission or superintendent has jurisdiction and which is the subject of inquiry and investigation by the commission or superintendent, and require the production of any book, paper, or document pertaining to such matter. For such purpose, the commission or superintendent shall have the same power as judges of county courts to administer oaths, compel the attendance of witnesses, and punish them for refusal to testify. Service of the subpoena may be made by sheriffs or constables, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, and the subpoena shall be deemed served on the date delivery is made or the date the person refused to accept delivery. Witnesses shall receive, after their appearance before the commission or superintendent, the fees and mileage provided for under section 119.094 of the Revised Code. If two or more witnesses travel together in the same vehicle, the mileage fee shall be paid to only one of those witnesses, but the witnesses may agree to divide the fee among themselves in any manner. In addition to the powers granted to the commission and superintendent under this section, in case any person fails to file any statement or report, obey any subpoena, give testimony, answer questions, or produce any books, records, or papers as required by the commission or superintendent under this chapter, the court of common pleas of any county in the state, upon application made to it by the commission or superintendent setting forth such failure, may make an order awarding process of subpoena or subpoena duces tecum for the person to appear and testify before the commission or superintendent, and may order any person to give testimony and answer questions, and to produce books, records, or papers, as required by the commission or superintendent. Upon the filing of such order in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas, the clerk, under the seal of the court, shall issue process of subpoena for the person to appear before the commission or superintendent at a time and place named in the subpoena, and each day thereafter until the examination of such person is completed. The subpoena may contain a direction that the witness bring with the witness to the examination any books, records, or papers mentioned in the subpoena. The clerk shall also issue, under the seal of the court, such other orders, in reference to the examination, appearance, and production of books, records, or papers, as the court directs. If any person so summoned by subpoena fails to obey the subpoena, to give testimony, to answer questions as required, or to obey an order of the court, the court, on motion supported by proof, may order an attachment for contempt to be issued against the person charged with disobedience of any order or injunction issued by the court under this chapter. If the person is brought before the court by virtue of the attachment, and if upon a hearing the disobedience appears, the court may order the offender to be committed and kept in close custody.
Effective Date: 09-11-1985; 11-05-2004; 2008 HB525 07-01-2009