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The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Chapter 4585 | Actions Relating To Watercraft

Section 4585.01 | Watercraft liens.

(A) Any watercraft navigating the waters within or bordering upon this state, is liable for the following:

(1) All debts contracted on account of such watercraft by the master, owner, steward, consignee, or other agent for the following:

(a) Materials, supplies, or labor in the building, repairing, furnishing, or equipping of the watercraft;

(b) Insurance;

(c) Wharfage.

(2) Damages arising out of any contract for the following:

(a) The transportation of goods or persons;

(b) Injuries done to persons or property by the watercraft;

(c) Any damage or injury done by the captain, mate, or other officer of the watercraft, or by any person under the order or sanction of any of them, to any person who is a passenger on, or employee of, the watercraft at the time of the infliction of the damage or injury.

(B) The liability described in division (A) of this section is a lien on the watercraft, but the lien is subordinate to any prior security interest that is noted on the certificate of title of the watercraft, or in a security agreement associated with a manufacturer's or importer's certificate for the watercraft that is retained, in accordance with section 1548.20 of the Revised Code.

Section 4585.02 | Liability arising outside state.

If a liability provided for in section 4585.01 of the Revised Code arises beyond the jurisdiction of this state, a lien therefor shall attach and may be enforced as provided in sections 4585.01 to 4585.14, inclusive, of the Revised Code, except against purchasers without notice.

Section 4585.03 | Proceeding against watercraft owner or master.

A person who has a lien under section 4585.01 of the Revised Code may proceed against the owner of the watercraft, the master who contracted a debt, or the watercraft itself. The person may file a complaint as in a civil action in the appropriate municipal or county court or court of common pleas, against the watercraft by name, or if it does not have a name, by a pertinent and substantial description of it.

Upon the filing of a complaint against a watercraft itself, the plaintiff shall give or send a written notice of the action to, or cause the service of a copy of the complaint upon, the owner of the watercraft and any person who has a security interest in the watercraft that is superior to the lien under division (B) of section 4585.01 of the Revised Code. A written notice or copies of the complaint shall be given, sent, or served upon the owner and any such secured parties in a manner prescribed in the Rules of Civil Procedure for the service of process on defendants in civil actions.

Section 4585.04 | Summons and warrant for seizure.

On the filing of a complaint under section 4585.03 of the Revised Code, the clerk of the court shall issue a summons, as in other cases, with a warrant returnable as other writs, directing the sheriff to seize the watercraft, or such part of its apparel or furniture as is necessary to satisfy the claim for relief of the plaintiff, and to detain them until discharged by due course of law. The officer who executes the writ shall return it with an inventory of the effects seized and held under it.

Section 4585.05 | Expenses to be advanced before seizure.

The officer holding the warrant issued under section 4585.04 of the Revised Code, may require the plaintiff to deposit with him such sum of money as he deems reasonable to defray all necessary expenses in taking charge of, detaining, and securing the property. In no case shall he pay to a person employed by him for such purpose more than two dollars per day for the time actually employed.

Section 4585.06 | Excess of money advanced to be repaid.

The officer shall return an account of the expenses incurred by him under section 4585.05 of the Revised Code. If the amount deposited with him is greater than the sum expended, he shall pay the balance in his hands to the plaintiff; if it is less than that sum, the plaintiff shall forthwith pay him the balance.

Section 4585.07 | Manner of discharge of property.

The owner, master, steward, consignee, or other agent of a watercraft seized by the officer under section 4585.04 of the Revised Code, may discharge the property by delivering to the officer who made the seizure a bond, with two sufficient sureties, residents of the county, payable to the plaintiff in double the amount of his demands as stated in the petition, conditioned that the property will be forthcoming to answer the judgment under the seizure.

Section 4585.08 | Damages.

If an action is commenced under sections 4585.01 to 4585.14, inclusive, of the Revised Code, without reasonable or probable cause, the person commencing it shall be liable to make compensation to the defendant for all damage sustained by him by reason thereof. If the defendant appears, defends, and is damaged, he shall set forth in his answer, or in a written statement if the cause is before a judge of a county court, that such an action was commenced without reasonable or probable cause to his damage. If on the trial it is found that such action was begun without reasonable or probable cause, the damage sustained by the defendant shall be assessed, judgment rendered therefor, and execution issued as in other cases.

Section 4585.09 | Return of warrant - execution of judgment.

The return of the warrant provided for in section 4585.04 of the Revised Code, showing a seizure of property is equivalent to service upon the watercraft. If the judgment is for the plaintiff, the property held may be sold on the order of the court. The proceeds of a sale under sections 4585.01 to 4585.14 of the Revised Code shall be applied initially to security interests on the watercraft that are superior under division (B) of section 4585.01 of the Revised Code to the lien provided by division (A) of that section, in the order of their priority. Any surplus money shall be returned to the owner, master, or agent on demand. If the judgment is against the plaintiff, the property seized shall be restored and judgment for costs entered against him, upon which execution may issue as in other cases.

Section 4585.10 | Notice of sale by officer.

The officer holding a writ for the sale of a watercraft, its apparel, or furniture, before proceeding to sell it, shall give public notice of the time and place of sale for at least ten days previous thereto or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code, by advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, and by advertisement posted in at least five public places in the county. Such sales shall be conducted, and the court shall have the same power over them as sales upon execution.

Section 4585.11 | Owner or master liable for balance unpaid by sale.

If the proceeds of the sale of the watercraft do not satisfy the judgment, the owner of the watercraft, or master who contracted the debt or incurred the liability, shall be liable in a civil action for the balance.

Section 4585.12 | Jurisdiction of county courts.

Judges of county courts within their respective areas of jurisdiction shall have jurisdiction under sections 4585.01 to 4585.14, inclusive, of the Revised Code, when the amount claimed does not exceed five hundred dollars, and as near as may be shall proceed according to the rules prescribed in said sections for other courts. The bill of particulars of the plaintiff shall be verified by his affidavit.

Section 4585.13 | Appeals.

Parties to any action before a county court judge, as permitted by section 4585.12 of the Revised Code, shall have the same right of appeal as in other cases. If the judgment is against the watercraft by name or description, the owner, master, steward, consignee, or other agent, may appeal therefrom by entering into bond as in other cases.

Section 4585.14 | Procedure following appeal.

If the plaintiff appeals and perfects the appeal, the officer who seized the property shall retain it unless it is discharged by giving bond, as provided in section 4585.07 of the Revised Code. If the defendant appeals and the appeal is perfected, the officer on receiving the certificate of the county court judge of that fact shall restore the property.