4927.21 Complaints against telephone company.

(A) Any person may file with the public utilities commission, or the commission may initiate, a complaint against a telephone company other than a wireless service provider, alleging that any rate, practice, or service of the company is unjust, unreasonable, unjustly discriminatory, or in violation of or noncompliance with any provision of sections 4927.01 to 4927.20 of the Revised Code or a rule or order adopted or issued under those sections. Any dispute between telephone companies, between telephone companies and wireless service providers, or between wireless service providers that is within the commission's jurisdiction under sections 4927.01 to 4927.20 of the Revised Code may be brought by a filing pursuant to this division.

(B) If it appears that reasonable grounds for complaint are stated by a complaint filed under division (A) of this section, the commission shall fix a time for hearing and shall notify complainants and the telephone company or wireless service provider thereof. The parties to the complaint shall be entitled to be heard, represented by counsel, and to have a process for the attendance of witnesses.

(C) If the commission after hearing in a proceeding under division (B) of this section makes a finding against the party complained of, the commission may do either or both of the following:

(1) Determine, but only to the extent authorized under sections 4927.01 to 4927.20 of the Revised Code, the rate, practice, or service thereafter to be adopted and observed, including any appropriate remedy for a complaint;

(2) Assess a forfeiture of not more than ten thousand dollars for each violation or failure. Each day's continuance of the violation or failure is a separate offense, and all occurrences of a violation or failure on each such day shall be deemed one violation. All forfeitures authorized under this section are cumulative, and a suit for and recovery of one does not bar the recovery of any other. Collected forfeitures shall be deposited into the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund. Actions to recover such forfeitures shall be prosecuted in the name of the state and shall be brought in the court of common pleas of any county in which the party complained of is located. The attorney general shall commence such actions and prosecute them when the commission directs.

(D) The commission also may suspend, rescind, or conditionally rescind the certification of a telephone company under section 4927.05 of the Revised Code under either of the following circumstances:

(1) The commission determines, after notice and opportunity for hearing, that the telephone company has failed to comply with any provision of section 4905.10 or 4905.14 of the Revised Code.

(2) The commission determines in a proceeding under division (B) of this section that the telephone company has willfully or repeatedly failed to comply with any other applicable state or federal law.

(E) The commission has no authority to order credits to any customer of a telephone company, except in response to a complaint determined in accordance with this section.

(F) Upon request of the commission, the attorney general may commence and prosecute such action or proceeding in mandamus, by injunction, or by other appropriate civil remedy in the name of the state, as is directed by the commission, alleging any violation or noncompliance specified in division (A) of this section, and praying for such proper relief as the court may prescribe.

Cite as R.C. § 4927.21

History. Added by 128th General AssemblyFile No.43, SB 162, §1, eff. 9/13/2010.