Section 1509.36 | Appeal to commission.
Any person adversely affected by an order by the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management may appeal to the oil and gas commission for an order vacating or modifying the order.
The person so appealing to the commission shall be known as appellant and the chief shall be known as appellee. Appellant and appellee shall be deemed to be parties to the appeal.
The appeal shall be in writing and shall set forth the order complained of and the grounds upon which the appeal is based. The appeal shall be filed with the commission within thirty days after the date upon which the person to whom the order was issued received the order and, for all other persons adversely affected by the order, within thirty days after the date of the order complained of. Notice of the filing of the appeal shall be filed with the chief within three days after the appeal is filed with the commission.
Upon the filing of the appeal the commission promptly shall fix the time and place at which the hearing on the appeal will be held, and shall give the appellant and the chief at least ten days' written notice thereof by mail. The commission may postpone or continue any hearing upon its own motion or upon application of the appellant or of the chief.
The filing of an appeal provided for in this section does not automatically suspend or stay execution of the order appealed from, but upon application by the appellant the commission may suspend or stay the execution pending determination of the appeal upon such terms as the commission considers proper.
Either party to the appeal or any interested person who, pursuant to commission rules has been granted permission to appear, may submit such evidence as the commission considers admissible.
For the purpose of conducting a hearing on an appeal, the commission may require the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, records, and papers, and it may, and at the request of any party it shall, issue subpoenas for witnesses or subpoenas duces tecum to compel the production of any books, records, or papers, directed to the sheriffs of the counties where the witnesses are found. The subpoenas shall be served and returned in the same manner as subpoenas in criminal cases are served and returned. The fees of sheriffs shall be the same as those allowed by the court of common pleas in criminal cases. Witnesses shall be paid the fees and mileage provided for under section 119.094 of the Revised Code. Such fees and mileage expenses incurred at the request of appellant shall be paid in advance by the appellant, and the remainder of those expenses shall be paid out of funds appropriated for the expenses of the division of oil and gas resources management.
In case of disobedience or neglect of any subpoena served on any person, or the refusal of any witness to testify to any matter regarding which the witness may be lawfully interrogated, the court of common pleas of the county in which the disobedience, neglect, or refusal occurs, or any judge thereof, on application of the commission or any member thereof, shall compel obedience by attachment proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from that court or a refusal to testify therein. Witnesses at such hearings shall testify under oath, and any member of the commission may administer oaths or affirmations to persons who so testify.
At the request of any party to the appeal, a record of the testimony and other evidence submitted shall be taken by an official court reporter at the expense of the party making the request for the record. The record shall include all of the testimony and other evidence and the rulings on the admissibility thereof presented at the hearing. The commission shall pass upon the admissibility of evidence, but any party may at the time object to the admission of any evidence and except to the rulings of the commission thereon, and if the commission refuses to admit evidence the party offering same may make a proffer thereof, and such proffer shall be made a part of the record of the hearing.
If upon completion of the hearing the commission finds that the order appealed from was lawful and reasonable, it shall make a written order affirming the order appealed from; if the commission finds that the order was unreasonable or unlawful, it shall make a written order vacating the order appealed from and making the order that it finds the chief should have made. Every order made by the commission shall contain a written finding by the commission of the facts upon which the order is based.
Notice of the making of the order shall be given forthwith to each party to the appeal by mailing a certified copy thereof to each such party by certified mail.
The order of the commission is final unless vacated by the court of common pleas of Franklin county in an appeal as provided for in section 1509.37 of the Revised Code. Sections 1509.01 to 1509.37 of the Revised Code, providing for appeals relating to orders by the chief or by the commission, or relating to rules adopted by the chief, do not constitute the exclusive procedure that any person who believes the person's rights to be unlawfully affected by those sections or any official action taken thereunder must pursue in order to protect and preserve those rights, nor do those sections constitute a procedure that that person must pursue before that person may lawfully appeal to the courts to protect and preserve those rights.