Cited by OHIO PUCO prior to Sept. 27, 2001?

| Friday, April 12, 2002

In early March, the Ohio Supreme Court denied all efforts by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to reverse a lower court decision that invalidated PUCO's adoption of the federal motor carrier safety regulations as intrastate rules. What this basically means is that any citations and/or forfeitures issued by the PUCO prior to Sept. 27, 2001 are probably not valid.

Last fall, the Franklin County Court of Appeals heard an appeal brought by B & T Express, Inc. over a number of PUCO civil forfeiture decisions. The court reversed the PUCO's actions against B & T, primarily because it found that the agency had never properly adopted the FMCSRs into state code in the first place. On Sept. 27, the PUCO corrected this adoption procedure and the rules became effective on that date.

In January of this year, the state Supreme Court rejected the PUCO's attempt to appeal the lower court's decision, and on March 4 denied their request for reconsideration.

The PUCO estimates that it had about 12,000 cases pending at the time the court struck down its rules. Citations or civil forfeiture decisions handed down from the PUCO prior to Sept. 27 may be contestable, whether the citations resulted from a roadside inspection or a compliance review at the state level. Refunds for citations previously paid may also be contestable.

If you are among those cases, OOIDA is interested in hearing from you. Call Gary Green at 1-800-444-5701 or email ggreen@ooida.com.

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