The Ohio Administrative Procedure Act (“Act”) is found in Title 1, Chapter 119 of the Ohio Revised Code Annotated. A rule or amendment adopted, or rescinded by any agency without complying with the provisions of the Act will be considered invalid. According to the Act the agency must give at least 30 days’ notice prior to the date of hearing. The notice must contain:
- The agency’s intention to consider adopting, amending or rescinding a rule;
- A synopsis of the proposed rule;
- Reason or purpose for adopting, amending or rescinding;
- Date, time and place for hearing on the proposed action.
The notice can be filed in electronic form with the secretary of state and with the director of the legislative service commission. The agency gives the public notice also in the register of Ohio. A document published in the Ohio register is sufficient to give notice of the content of the document to a person affected by the content. If the document is not published in the Ohio register then the content of the document is invalid against a person who does not have actual knowledge of the content of the document.
According to ORC Ann. 119.0311, an agency must prepare and publish a guide to assist members of public who participates or wish to participate in the rule-making procedure of the agency.
ORC Ann. 119.04 provides that a rule will become effective on the tenth day after the day on which the rule in its final form is filed in electronic form with the secretary of state, the director of the legislative service commission and with the joint committee on agency rule review.
According to ORC Ann. 119.06, an adjudication order of an agency is valid only if the agency is specifically authorized by law to make such an order. An adjudication order will also not be valid if the agency does not provide the party with an opportunity for hearing. But hearing is not mandatory while making orders:
- revoking a license in cases when authorized by statute pursuant to the judgment of a court; and
- suspending a license when specifically permitted by the statute;
ORC Ann. 119.061 provides that every agency authorized by law to adopt, amend or rescind rules can suspend that license of a party under its jurisdiction for engaging in deceptive practices.
According to ORC Ann. 119.10, at any adjudication hearings the record of which can be the basis of an appeal to court, in all proceedings before the courts of Ohio or the U.S. the agency will be represented by the attorney general or any of his assistants or special counsel who have been designated by the attorney general.
ORC Ann. 119.12 provides that any party adversely affected by any order of an agency can appeal to the court of common pleas of the county in which the place of business of the party is located or the county in which the party is a resident. If any party appealing from the order is not a resident of and has no place of business in this state, the party can appeal to the court of common pleas of Franklin county.
According to ORC Ann. 119.13, at any adjudication hearing, a party or an affected person can be represented by an attorney or by such other representative who is lawfully permitted to practice before the concerned agency. Further, a witness, if he so requests, will be permitted to be represented, and advised by an attorney, whose participation in the hearing will be limited to the protection of the rights of the witness, and cannot examine or cross-examine witnesses.