5723.01 Forfeited lands.

(A)

(1) Every tract of land and town lot, which, pursuant to foreclosure proceedings under section 323.25, sections 323.65 to 323.79, or section 5721.18 of the Revised Code, has been advertised and offered for sale on two separate occasions, not less than two weeks apart, and not sold for want of bidders, shall be forfeited to the state or to a political subdivision, school district, or county land reutilization corporation pursuant to division (A)(3) of this section.

(2) The county prosecuting attorney shall certify to the court that such tract of land or town lot has been twice offered for sale and not sold for want of a bidder. Such forfeiture of lands and town lots shall be effective when the court by entry orders such lands and town lots forfeited to the state or to a political subdivision, school district, or county land reutilization corporation pursuant to division (A)(3) of this section. A copy of such entry shall be certified to the county auditor and, after the date of the certification, all the right, title, claim, and interest of the former owner is transferred to and vested in the state to be disposed of in compliance with this chapter.

(3) After having been notified pursuant to division (A)(2) of this section that the tract of land or town lot has been twice offered for sale and not sold for want of bidders, the court shall notify the political subdivision and school district in which the property is located, and any county land reutilization corporation in the county, and offer to forfeit the property to the political subdivision, school district, or corporation, or to an electing subdivision as defined in section 5722.01 of the Revised Code, upon a petition from the political subdivision, school district, or corporation. If no such petition is filed with the court within ten days after notification by the court, the court shall forfeit the property to the state in accordance with division (A)(2) of this section. If a political subdivision, school district, or corporation requests through a petition to receive the property through forfeiture, the forfeiture of land and town lots is effective when, by entry, the court orders such lands and town lots forfeited to the political subdivision, school district, or corporation. The court shall certify a copy of the entry to the county auditor and, after the date of certification, all the right, title, claim, and interest of the former owner is transferred to and vested in the political subdivision, school district, or corporation.

(4) From and after the date of journalization of the order forfeiting a tract of land or a town lot to the state pursuant to division (A)(2) of this section and until such forfeited land has been redeemed by the former owner pursuant to section 5723.03 of the Revised Code or sold or transferred pursuant to section 5723.04 of the Revised Code, any political subdivision in which the forfeited land is located or the county land reutilization corporation of the county in which the forfeited land is located, or an officer, agent, or employee of the subdivision or corporation, upon knowledge or belief that the forfeited land is unoccupied as defined in section 323.65 of the Revised Code, may enter the forfeited lands and any buildings, structures, or other improvements located on that land, for any of the following purposes:

(a) Conducting an appraisal or inspection of the buildings, structures, or other improvements located on the forfeited land;

(b) Conducting a voluntary action as defined in Chapter 3746. of the Revised Code or other environment assessment of the forfeited land and any buildings, structures, or other improvements located on that land;

(c) Conducting any other health and safety inspection of the forfeited land and any buildings, structures, or other improvements located on that land.

Unless an action or omission of a political subdivision or county land reutilization corporation, or an officer, agent, or employee of the subdivision or corporation, by clear and convincing evidence, constitutes willful or wanton misconduct or intentionally tortious conduct, the political subdivision or county land reutilization corporation, or an officer, agent, or employee of a subdivision or corporation, that enters the forfeited land pursuant to this division is not liable in any civil or administrative action, including an action in trespass, resulting from the entry onto the forfeited land or for any tort action as defined in section 3746.24 of the Revised Code resulting from the testing for or actual presence of hazardous substances or petroleum at, or the release of hazardous substances or petroleum from, a property where a voluntary action is being or has been conducted pursuant to Chapter 3746. of the Revised Code and the rules adopted under it. This immunity is in addition to any immunities from civil liability or defenses established by any other section of the Revised Code or available at common law. Any entry upon forfeited land and any buildings, structures, or improvements located on that land pursuant to division (A)(4) of this section shall not constitute the exercise of dominion or control over the land or buildings, structures, or improvements on the land when that entry is for the purposes described in divisions (A)(4)(a) to (c) of this section.

(B) Every parcel against which a judgment of foreclosure and forfeiture is made in accordance with section 5721.16 of the Revised Code is forfeited to the state on the date the court enters a finding under that section. After that date, all the right, title, claim, and interest of the former owner is transferred to the state to be disposed of in compliance with the relevant provisions of this chapter.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 172, §1, eff. 9/4/2014.

Effective Date: 03-27-1991; 2008 HB138 09-11-2008; 2008 SB353 04-07-2009