130th Ohio General Assembly
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(122nd General Assembly)
(Amended House Bill Number 101)



AN ACT
To amend section 1547.30 of the Revised Code to authorize the owner of a private dock to order the towing of any vessel found moored, anchored, or tied there without permission.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1 .  That section 1547.30 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1547.30.  (A) As used in this section and sections 1547.301, 1547.302, and 1547.304 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Vessel or outboard motor" excludes an abandoned junk vessel or outboard motor, as defined in section 1547.303 of the Revised Code, or any watercraft or outboard motor under section 4585.31 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Law enforcement agency" means any organization or unit comprised of law enforcement officers, as defined in section 2901.01 of the Revised Code.

(B)(1) The sheriff of a county, chief of police of a municipal corporation, township, or township police district, or other chief of a law enforcement agency, within the sheriff's or chief's respective territorial jurisdiction, upon complaint of any person adversely affected, may order into storage any vessel or outboard motor that has been left on private property, other than a private dock or mooring facility or structure, for at least seventy-two hours without the permission of the person having the right to the possession of the property. The sheriff or chief, upon complaint of the owner of a marine repair facility or place of storage, may order into storage any vessel or outboard motor that has been left at the facility or place of storage for a longer period than that agreed upon. The place of storage shall be designated by the sheriff or chief. When ordering a vessel or motor into storage under this division (B)(1) of this section, a sheriff or chief shall, whenever possible, shall arrange for the removal of the vessel or motor by a private tow truck operator or towing company. Subject

(2)(a) Except as provided in division (B)(2)(d) of this section, no person, without the consent of the owner or other person authorized to give consent, shall moor, anchor, or tie a vessel at a private dock or mooring facility or structure owned by another person if the owner has posted, in a conspicuous manner, a prohibition against the mooring, anchoring, or tying of vessels at the dock, facility, or structure by any person not having the consent of the owner or other person authorized to give consent.

(b) If the owner of a private dock or mooring facility or structure has posted at the dock, facility, or structure, in a conspicuous manner, conditions and regulations under which the mooring, anchoring, or tying of vessels is permitted at the dock, facility, or structure, no person, except as provided in division (B)(2)(d) of this section, shall moor, anchor, or tie a vessel at the dock, facility, or structure in violation of the posted conditions and regulations.

(c) The owner of a private dock or mooring facility or structure may order towed into storage any vessel found moored, anchored, or tied in violation of division (B)(2)(a) or (b) of this section, provided that the owner of the dock, facility, or structure posts on it a sign that states that the dock, facility, or structure is private, is visible from all entrances to the dock, facility, or structure, and contains all of the following information:

(i) The information specified in division (B)(2)(a) or (b) of this section, as applicable;

(ii) A notice that violators will be towed and that violators are responsible for paying the cost of the towing;

(iii) The telephone number of the person from whom a towed vessel may be recovered, and the address of the place to which the vessel will be taken and the place from which it may be recovered.

(d) Divisions (B)(2)(a) and (b) of this section do not prohibit a person from mooring, anchoring, or tying a vessel at a private dock or mooring facility or structure if either of the following applies:

(i) The vessel is disabled due to a mechanical or structural malfunction, provided that the person immediately removes the vessel from the dock, facility, or structure when the malfunction is corrected or when a reasonable attempt has been made to correct it;

(ii) Weather conditions are creating an imminent threat to safe operation of the vessel, provided that the person immediately removes the vessel from the dock, facility, or structure when the weather conditions permit safe operation of the vessel.

(e) A person whose vessel is towed into storage under division (B)(2)(c) of this section either shall pay the costs of the towing of the vessel or shall reimburse the owner of the dock or mooring facility or structure for the costs that the owner incurs in towing the vessel.

(3) Subject to division (C) of this section, the owner of a vessel or motor that has been removed under this division (B) of this section may recover the vessel or motor only in accordance with division (F) of this section.

(C) If the owner or operator of a vessel or outboard motor that has been ordered into storage under division (B) of this section arrives after the vessel or motor has been prepared for removal, but prior to its actual removal from the property, the owner or operator shall be given the opportunity to pay a fee of not more than one-half of the charge for the removal of vessels or motors under division (B) of this section that normally is assessed by the person who has prepared the vessel or motor for removal, in order to obtain release of the vessel or motor. Upon payment of that fee, the vessel or motor shall be released to the owner or operator, and upon its release, the owner or operator immediately shall move it so that it is not on the private property without the permission of the person having the right to possession of the property, or is not at the facility or place of storage without the permission of the owner, whichever is applicable.

(D) Each county sheriff, each chief of police of a municipal corporation, township, or township police district, and each other chief of a law enforcement agency shall maintain a record of vessels or outboard motors that are ordered into storage under division (B)(1) of this section. The record shall include an entry for each such vessel or motor that identifies the vessel's hull identification number or serial number, if any, the vessel's or motor's make, model, and color, the location from which it was removed, the date and time of its removal, the telephone number of the person from whom it may be recovered, and the address of the place to which it has been taken and from which it may be recovered. Any information in the record that pertains to a particular vessel or motor shall be provided to any person who, pursuant to a statement the person makes either in person or by telephone, is identified as the owner or operator of the vessel or motor and requests information pertaining to its location.

(E) Any person who registers a complaint that is the basis of a sheriff's or chief's order for the removal and storage of a vessel or outboard motor under division (B)(1) of this section shall provide the identity of the law enforcement agency with which the complaint was registered to any person who, pursuant to a statement the person makes, is identified as the owner or operator of the vessel or motor and requests information pertaining to its location.

(F)(1) The owner of a vessel or outboard motor that is ordered into storage under division (B) of this section may reclaim it upon payment of any expenses or charges incurred in its removal, in an amount not to exceed two hundred dollars, and storage, in an amount not to exceed five dollars per twenty-four-hour period, and upon presentation of proof of ownership, which may be evidenced by a certificate of title to the vessel or motor, certificate of United States coast guard documentation, or certificate of registration if the vessel or motor is not subject to titling under section 1548.01 of the Revised Code. If

(2) If a vessel or outboard motor that is ordered into storage under division (B)(1) of this section remains unclaimed by the owner for thirty days, the procedures established by sections 1547.301 and 1547.302 of the Revised Code shall apply.

(3) If a vessel or outboard motor ordered into storage under division (B)(2) of this section remains unclaimed for seventy-two hours after being stored, the tow truck operator or towing company that removed the vessel or outboard motor shall provide notice of the removal and storage to the sheriff of a county, chief of police of a municipal corporation, township, or township police district, or other chief of a law enforcement agency within whose territorial jurisdiction the vessel or outboard motor had been moored, anchored, or tied in violation of division (B)(2) of this section. The notice shall be in writing and include the vessel's hull identification number or serial number, if any, the vessel's or outboard motor's make, model, and color, the location from which it was removed, the date and time of its removal, the telephone number of the person from whom it may be recovered, and the address of the place to which it has been taken and from which it may be recovered.

Upon receipt of the notice, the sheriff or chief immediately shall cause a search to be made of the records of the division of watercraft to ascertain the owner and any lienholder of the vessel or outboard motor, and, if known, shall send notice to the owner and lienholder, if any, at the owner's and lienholder's last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the vessel or outboard motor will be declared a nuisance and disposed of if not claimed not later than thirty days after the date of the mailing of the notice.

If the owner or lienholder makes no claim to the vessel or outboard motor within thirty days of the date of the mailing of the notice, the sheriff or chief shall file with the clerk of courts of the county in which the place of storage is located an affidavit showing compliance with the requirements of division (F)(3) of this section, and the vessel or outboard motor shall be disposed of in accordance with section 1547.302 of the Revised Code.

(G) No person shall remove, or cause the removal of, any vessel or outboard motor from private property other than in accordance with division (B) of this section or section 1547.301 of the Revised Code.

Section 2. That existing section 1547.30 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.

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