130th Ohio General Assembly
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S. B. No. 143  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
S. B. No. 143


Senators Hughes, Oelslager 

Cosponsors: Senators Schaffer, Skindell, Stewart, Wagoner 



A BILL
To enact sections 2747.01 to 2747.09 of the Revised Code to provide for the recovery of damages and civil penalties for defrauding the state of money or property and to authorize private persons to bring qui tam civil actions in the name of the state to remedy the frauds.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1.  That sections 2747.01, 2747.02, 2747.03, 2747.04, 2747.05, 2747.06, 2747.07, 2747.08, and 2747.09 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 2747.01.  As used in this chapter:
(A)(1) "Claim" means any request or demand for money or property, whether or not the state has title to the money or property, and that:
(a) Is presented to an officer, employee, or agent of the state; or
(b) Is presented to a contractor, grantee, or other recipient of the money or property, the money or property is to be spent or used on the state's behalf or to advance a state program or interest, and the state:
(i) Provides or has provided any portion of the money or property requested or demanded; or
(ii) Will reimburse the contractor, grantee, or other recipient for any portion of the money or property that is requested or demanded.
(2) "Claim" does not include a request or demand for money or property that the state has paid to an individual as compensation for state employment or as an income subsidy with no restrictions on that individual's use of the money or property.
(B) "Employer" includes any person.
(C) "Knowingly" or "knowing" means that a person, with respect to information:
(1) Has actual knowledge of the information;
(2) Acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or
(3) Acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information.
(D) "Material" or "materially" means having a natural tendency to influence, or be capable of influencing, the payment or receipt of money or property.
(E) "Obligation" means an established duty, whether or not fixed, arising from an express or implied contractual, grantor-grantee, or licensor-licensee relationship, from a fee-based or similar relationship, from statute or rule, or from the retention of any overpayment.
(F) "Person" means any natural person, partnership, corporation, organization, association, or other legal entity, including any political subdivision of the state.
Sec. 2747.02.  (A) Any person who commits any of the following prohibited acts has violated this section and is liable to the state as provided in division (B) of this section:
(1) Knowingly presents or causes to be presented to any officer, employee, or agent of the state, or to any contractor, grantee, or other recipient of state funds or state property, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
(2) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;
(3) Has possession, custody, or control of money or property used or to be used by the state and knowingly delivers or causes to be delivered less than all of that money or property;
(4) Is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used or to be used by the state and makes or delivers the document knowing that it falsely or fraudulently represents the property used or to be used;
(5) Knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer, employee, or agent of the state who is not lawfully authorized to sell or pledge the property;
(6) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state;
(7) Knowingly conceals, or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases, an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state;
(8) Conspires with one or more others to violate any element of divisions (A)(1) to (7) of this section.
(B)(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(2) of this section, a person who violates division (A) of this section is liable to the state for all of the following:
(a) Three times the amount of damages that the state sustains because of the violation;
(b) A civil penalty of not less than five thousand five hundred nor more than eleven thousand dollars for each violation; and
(c) The costs of a civil action brought to recover any of those damages or civil penalties.
(2) A person who violates division (A) of this section is liable to the state for not less than two times the amount of damages that the state sustains because of the violation and the costs of a civil action brought to recover the damages, but no civil penalties, if the court finds all of the following:
(a) The person committing the violation provided the attorney general with all information known to the person about the violation within thirty days after the date on which the person first obtained the information;
(b) The person fully cooperated with any state investigation of the violation; and
(c) At the time the person provided the attorney general with information about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative proceeding had been commenced with respect to the violation, and the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into the violation.
(C) Any information provided to the attorney general under division (B)(2)(a) of this section is not a public record and is exempt from disclosure under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.
(D) Proof of intent to defraud is not required in any action brought under this chapter.
Sec. 2747.03.  (A) The attorney general shall investigate violations of section 2747.02 of the Revised Code. If the attorney general finds that a person has violated or is violating division (A) of that section, the attorney general may bring a civil action under this section against the person.
(B)(1) Any person may bring a civil action for a violation of division (A) of section 2747.02 of the Revised Code for the person and the state. The action shall be brought in the name of the state. The complaint shall be filed in camera, shall remain under seal for at least sixty days, and shall not be served on the defendant until the court so orders.
(2) A copy of the complaint filed under division (B)(1) of this section and a written disclosure of substantially all material evidence and information the person possesses shall be served on the attorney general pursuant to Civil Rule 4.
(3) The attorney general, for good cause shown, may move the court for extensions of the time during which the complaint filed under division (B)(1) of this section remains under seal. The motion may be supported by affidavits or other submissions in camera. The defendant shall not be required to respond to the complaint until twenty-eight days after the complaint is unsealed and served upon the defendant pursuant to Civil Rule 4.
(4) Before the expiration of the sixty-day period under division (B)(1) of this section or any extensions of time obtained under division (B)(3) of this section, the attorney general may elect to intervene on behalf of the state in an action brought under division (B)(1) of this section or may notify the court that it declines to intervene in the action. If the attorney general intervenes in the action, the attorney general shall conduct the action. If the attorney general declines to intervene in the action, the person who brought the action shall have the right to conduct the action.
(5) No person other than the attorney general may intervene or bring a related action based on the facts underlying an action pending under division (B)(1) of this section.
(C) An action under division (A) or (B) of this section may be brought in the court of common pleas of Franklin county, in the court of common pleas of any county in which the defendant or any one of multiple defendants can be found, resides, or transacts business, or in the court of common pleas of any county in which any act prohibited by section 2747.02 of the Revised Code occurred. The attorney general or the person who brought the action shall prove all essential elements of the cause of action, including damages, by a preponderance of the evidence.
(D) If the attorney general intervenes in an action brought under division (B)(1) of this section, the attorney general has the primary responsibility for prosecuting the action and is not bound by any act of the person who brought the action. The attorney general may file a complaint or amend the complaint of the person who brought the action to clarify or add detail to the claim in which the state is intervening or to add any additional claims to which the attorney general alleges the state is entitled. Any pleading filed by the attorney general shall relate back to the filing date of the complaint of the person who originally brought the action, to the extent that the state's claim arises out of the conduct, transactions, or occurrences set forth, or attempted to be set forth, in the person's complaint. However, the person who brought the action has the right to continue as a party to the action, subject to all of the following limitations:
(1) The attorney general may move to dismiss the action upon a showing of good cause, notwithstanding the objections of the person who brought the action. The court may dismiss the action if the person who brought the action is notified by the attorney general of the filing of the motion to dismiss and the court provides the person with an opportunity to oppose the motion and to present evidence at a hearing.
(2) The attorney general may settle the action with the defendant, notwithstanding the objections of the person who brought the action, if the court determines, after a hearing providing the person who brought the action an opportunity to present evidence, that the proposed settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable under all the circumstances. Upon a showing of good cause, the court may hold the hearing in camera.
(3) Upon a showing by the attorney general that unrestricted participation during the course of the litigation by the person who brought the action would interfere with or unduly delay the attorney general's prosecution of the case or would be repetitious, irrelevant, or for purposes of harassment, the court, in its discretion, may impose limitations on the person's participation, by doing any of the following:
(a) Limiting the number of witnesses the person may call;
(b) Limiting the length of the testimony of the person's witnesses;
(c) Limiting the person's cross-examination of witnesses;
(d) Otherwise limiting participation by the person in the litigation.
(4) Upon a showing by the defendant that unrestricted participation during the course of the litigation by the person who brought the action would be for purposes of harassment or would cause the defendant undue burden or unnecessary expense, the court may limit participation in the litigation by the person who brought the action.
(E)(1) If the attorney general declines to intervene in an action brought under division (B)(1) of this section, the person who brought the action has the right to conduct the action. If the attorney general so requests, the attorney general shall be served with copies of all pleadings filed in the action, and shall be supplied, at the attorney general's expense, with copies of all deposition transcripts.
(2) When the person proceeds with the action, the court, without limiting the status and rights of the person who brought the action, nevertheless may permit the attorney general to intervene at a later date upon a showing of good cause.
(F) Upon timely motion of the attorney general, a court shall dismiss an action brought under division (B)(1) of this section if the allegations relating to all essential elements of liability on the claim alleged in the action are based on the public disclosure of allegations in a state criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding in which the state or its agent is a party, in a state legislative or administrative report, hearing, audit, or investigation, or from the news media, unless the action is brought by the attorney general, or the person who brought the action is an original source of the information. An "original source" is a person who either, prior to a public disclosure, has voluntarily disclosed to the attorney general the information on which allegations or transactions in a claim are based, or who has knowledge that is independent of and materially adds to the publicly disclosed allegations or transactions and has voluntarily provided the information to the state before bringing an action under division (B) of this section.
(G) Whether or not the attorney general intervenes in an action brought under division (B)(1) of this section, upon a showing by the attorney general that certain discovery by the person who brought the action would interfere with the attorney general's investigation or prosecution of a criminal or civil matter arising out of the same facts, the court may stay that discovery for a period of not more than sixty days. The showing shall be conducted in camera. The court may extend the sixty-day period upon a further showing in camera that the attorney general has pursued the criminal or civil investigation or proceedings with reasonable diligence and any proposed discovery in the civil action will interfere with the ongoing criminal or civil investigation or proceedings.
(H)(1) No person may bring an action under division (B)(1) of this section against a member of the general assembly, a judge or other judicial officer, the governor, the lieutenant governor, the secretary of state, the treasurer of state, the auditor of state, or the attorney general if the action is based on evidence or information that is known to the attorney general when the action is brought.
(2) No person may bring an action under division (B)(1) of this section that is based upon allegations or transactions that are the subject of a civil suit or an administrative civil money penalty proceeding in which the state is already a party.
(I) No court shall have jurisdiction over an action brought under division (B)(1) of this section by a former or present member of the Ohio national guard against a former or present member of the Ohio national guard arising out of that member's service in the Ohio national guard.
(J) The state is not liable for expenses that a person incurs in bringing an action under division (B)(1) of this section.
Sec. 2747.04.  (A) If the attorney general intervenes in an action brought by a person under division (B)(1) of section 2747.03 of the Revised Code, the person shall receive at least fifteen per cent but not more than twenty-five per cent of the proceeds of the action or settlement of the claim, depending upon the extent to which the person substantially contributed to the prosecution of the action. If the action is one that the court finds to be based primarily on disclosures of specific information, other than information provided by the person who brought the action, relating to allegations or transactions specifically in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding, in a legislative or administrative report, hearing, audit, or investigation, or from the news media, the court may award the sums that it considers appropriate, but in no case more than ten per cent of the proceeds of the action or settlement of the claim, taking into account the significance of the information and the role of the person who brought the action in advancing the case to litigation. Any payment to a person under this division shall be made from the proceeds of the action or settlement.
(B) If the attorney general declines to intervene in an action brought by a person under division (B)(1) of section 2747.03 of the Revised Code, the person who brought the action or settled the claim shall receive an amount that the court decides is reasonable for collecting the civil penalty and damages. The amount shall be not less than twenty-five per cent and not more than thirty per cent of the proceeds of the action or settlement and shall be paid out of those proceeds.
(C) The person who brought an action or settled a claim under division (B)(1) of section 2747.03 of the Revised Code also shall receive an amount for reasonable expenses that the court finds to have been necessarily incurred, plus reasonable attorney's fees and costs. All expenses, fees, and costs shall be awarded against the defendant.
(D) Whether or not the attorney general intervenes in an action brought under division (B)(1) of section 2747.03 of the Revised Code, if the court finds that the action was brought by a person who planned and initiated a violation of section 2747.02 of the Revised Code upon which the action was brought, then the court, to the extent the court considers appropriate, may reduce the share of the proceeds of the action that the person would otherwise receive under this section, taking into account the role of that person in advancing the case to litigation and any relevant circumstances pertaining to the violation. If the person who brought the action is convicted of criminal conduct arising from the person's role in violating section 2747.02 of the Revised Code, the person shall be dismissed from the civil action and shall not receive any share of the proceeds of the action. The dismissal shall not prejudice the right of the attorney general to continue the action.
(E) If the attorney general declines to intervene in an action brought under division (B)(1) of section 2747.03 of the Revised Code and the person who brought the action conducts the action, the court may award the defendant reasonable attorney's fees and expenses if the defendant prevails in the action and the court finds that the claim of the person who brought the action was clearly frivolous, clearly vexatious, or brought primarily for purposes of harassment.
Sec. 2747.05.  A civil action under section 2747.03 of the Revised Code may not be brought after the date that is six years after the date on which a violation of section 2747.02 of the Revised Code is committed, or three years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known by the attorney general, but in no event more than ten years after the date on which the violation is committed, whichever occurs last.
Sec. 2747.06.  A final judgment rendered in favor of the state in any criminal proceeding charging fraud or false statements, whether upon a verdict after trial or upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, shall estop the defendant from denying the essential elements of the offense in any action brought under section 2747.03 of the Revised Code involving the same conduct, transaction, or occurrence as in the criminal proceeding.
Sec. 2747.07.  (A) The remedies provided in section 2747.03 of the Revised Code are not exclusive, and are in addition to any other remedies provided for in any other statute or that are available under common law.
(B) Notwithstanding section 2747.03 of the Revised Code, the attorney general may elect to pursue the state's claim through any other remedy available to the state, including any administrative proceeding to determine a civil monetary penalty. If any other remedy is pursued in another proceeding, the person who brought an action under division (B)(1) of section 2747.03 of the Revised Code has the same rights in that proceeding as the person would have had if the action had continued under that division. Any finding of fact or conclusion of law made in the other proceeding that has become final shall be conclusive on all parties to an action under section 2747.03 of the Revised Code. A finding of fact or conclusion made in the other proceeding is final if it has been finally determined on appeal to the appropriate court, if all time for filing an appeal with respect to the finding or conclusion has expired, or if the finding or conclusion is not subject to judicial review.
Sec. 2747.08.  (A) As used in this section, "documentary material" includes the original or any copy of any book, record, report, memorandum, paper, communication, tabulation, chart, or other document, or data compilations stored in or accessible through a computer or other information retrieval systems and instructions and all other materials necessary to use or interpret the data compilations, and any product of discovery.
(B)(1) Whenever the attorney general has reason to believe that a person may be in possession, custody, or control of any documentary material or information relevant to an investigation conducted under section 2747.03 of the Revised Code, the attorney general, before commencing a civil action or before making an election to intervene under that section, may issue in writing and cause to be served upon the person a civil investigative demand requiring the person to do any of the following:
(a) Produce the documentary material for inspection and copying;
(b) Answer in writing written interrogatories with respect to the documentary material or information;
(c) Give oral testimony concerning the documentary material or information;
(d) Furnish any combination of the documentary material, answers, or testimony.
(2) The attorney general may delegate to a designee the authority to issue a civil investigative demand under this section.
(3) Any documentary material or information obtained by the attorney general or the attorney general's designee pursuant to the issuance of a civil investigative demand may be shared with the person who brought a civil action under division (B) of section 2747.03 of the Revised Code, if the attorney general or the designee determines it is necessary as part of an investigation conducted under that section.
(C)(1) Each civil investigative demand issued under this section shall state the nature of the conduct constituting an alleged violation of section 2747.02 of the Revised Code that is under investigation, and the applicable provision of law alleged to have been violated.
(2) If the civil investigative demand is for the production of documentary material, the demand shall do both of the following:
(a) Describe each class of documentary material to be produced with such definiteness and certainty as to permit the documentary material to be fairly identified;
(b) Prescribe a return date for each class of documentary material that will provide a reasonable period of time within which the documentary material so demanded may be assembled and made available for inspection and copying.
(3) If the civil investigative demand is for answers to written interrogatories, the demand shall do both of the following:
(a) Set forth with specificity the written interrogatories to be answered;
(b) Prescribe dates at which time answers to written interrogatories shall be submitted.
(4)(a) If the civil investigative demand is for the giving of oral testimony, the demand shall do all of the following:
(i) Prescribe a date, time, and place at which oral testimony shall be commenced;
(ii) Specify that the attendance and testimony are necessary to the conduct of the investigation;
(iii) Notify the person receiving the demand of the person's right to be accompanied by an attorney and any other representative;
(iv) Describe the general purpose for which the demand is being issued and the general nature of the testimony that will be taken pursuant to the demand, including the primary areas of inquiry.
(b) The date prescribed for the commencement of oral testimony pursuant to a civil investigative demand issued under this section shall be a date that is not less than seven days after the date on which the demand is received, unless the attorney general or the attorney general's designee determines that exceptional circumstances are present that warrant the commencement of the testimony within a lesser period of time.
(c) The attorney general or the attorney general's designee shall not issue more than one civil investigative demand for oral testimony by the same person unless the person requests otherwise or unless the attorney general or the designee, after investigation, notifies the person in writing that an additional demand for oral testimony is necessary.
(D) A civil investigative demand issued under this section may not require the production of any documentary material or information, the submission of any answers to written interrogatories, or the giving of any oral testimony if the documentary material, information, answers, or testimony would be protected from disclosure under either of the following:
(1) The standards applicable to subpoenas or subpoenas duces tecum issued by a court to aid in a grand jury investigation;
(2) The standards applicable to discovery requests under the Rules of Civil Procedure, to the extent that the application of the standards to the civil investigative demand is appropriate and consistent with the provisions and purposes of this section.
(E)(1) Any civil investigative demand issued under this section or any petition filed under division (J) of this section may be served in the same manner as a summons under Civil Rules 4 to 4.3 and 4.5.
(2) A verified return by the individual serving a civil investigative demand issued under this section or a petition filed under division (J) of this section setting forth the manner of service is proof of the service. In the case of service by registered or certified mail, the return shall be accompanied by the return post office receipt of delivery of the demand or petition.
(F)(1) The production of documentary material in response to a civil investigative demand served under this section shall be made under a sworn certificate, in any form that the demand designates, by the following persons:
(a) In the case of a natural person, the person to whom the demand is directed;
(b) In the case of a person other than a natural person, a person having knowledge of the facts and circumstances relating to the production and authorized to act on behalf of the person.
(2) The certificate shall state that all of the documentary material required by the demand and in the possession, custody, or control of the person to whom the demand is directed has been produced and made available to the attorney general or the attorney general's designee.
(3) Any person upon whom any civil investigative demand for the production of documentary material has been served under this section shall make the documentary material available to the attorney general or the attorney general's designee for inspection and copying at the person's principal place of business or at any other place that the attorney general or designee and the person may agree and prescribe in writing after the demand is served. The person shall make the documentary material available on the return date specified in the demand, or on any later date that the attorney general or designee may prescribe in writing. Upon written agreement between the person and the attorney general or the designee, the person may substitute copies for originals of all or any part of the documentary material.
(G)(1) Each interrogatory in a civil investigative demand served under this section shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath and shall be submitted under a sworn certificate, in the form that the demand designates, by the following persons:
(a) In the case of a natural person, the person to whom the demand is directed;
(b) In the case of a person other than a natural person, the person or persons responsible for answering each interrogatory.
(2) If any interrogatory is objected to, the reasons for the objection shall be stated in the certificate instead of an answer. The certificate shall state that all information required by the civil investigative demand and in the possession, custody, control, or knowledge of the person to whom the demand is directed has been submitted. To the extent that any information is not furnished, the information shall be identified and reasons set forth with particularity regarding why the information was not furnished.
(H)(1) The examination of any person pursuant to a civil investigative demand for oral testimony served under this section shall be taken before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths and affirmations. The officer before whom the testimony is to be taken shall put the witness on oath or affirmation and, personally or by someone acting under the direction of the officer and in the officer's presence, shall record the testimony of the witness. The testimony shall be taken stenographically and shall be transcribed. When the testimony is fully transcribed, the officer before whom the testimony is taken shall promptly transmit a copy of the transcript of the testimony to the attorney general or the attorney general's designee. This division does not preclude the taking of testimony by any means authorized by, and in a manner consistent with, the Rules of Civil Procedure.
(2) The attorney general or the attorney general's designee shall exclude from the place where the examination is held all persons except the person giving the testimony, the attorney for and any other representative of the person giving the testimony, any person who may be agreed upon by the attorney general or designee and the person giving the testimony, the officer before whom the testimony is to be taken, and any stenographer taking the testimony.
(3) The oral testimony of any person taken pursuant to a civil investigative demand served under this section shall be taken in Franklin county or in the county within which the person resides, is found, or transacts business, or in any other place that may be agreed upon by the attorney general or the attorney general's designee and the person.
(4) When the testimony is fully transcribed, the attorney general, the attorney general's designees, or the officer before whom the testimony is taken shall afford the witness, who may be accompanied by an attorney, a reasonable opportunity to examine and read the transcript, unless examination and reading are waived by the witness. Any changes in form or substance that the witness desires to make shall be entered and identified upon the transcript by the officer, the attorney general, or the designee, with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making the changes. The transcript shall then be signed by the witness, unless the witness waives the signing in writing, is ill, cannot be found, or refuses to sign. If the transcript is not signed by the witness within thirty days after being afforded a reasonable opportunity to examine it, the attorney general, designee, or officer shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver, illness, absence of the witness, or the refusal to sign, together with the reasons, if any, given therefor.
(5) The officer before whom the testimony is taken shall certify on the transcript that the witness was sworn by the officer and that the transcript is a true record of the testimony given by the witness, and the officer, attorney general, or the attorney general's designee shall take custody of the transcript.
(6)(a) Any person compelled to appear for oral testimony under a civil investigative demand issued under this section may be accompanied, represented, and advised by an attorney. The attorney may advise the person, in confidence, with respect to any question asked of the person. The person or the person's attorney may object on the record to any question, in whole or in part, and shall briefly state for the record the reason for the objection. An objection may be made, received, and entered upon the record when it is claimed that the person is entitled to refuse to answer the question on the grounds of any constitutional or other legal right or privilege, including the privilege against self-incrimination. The person may not otherwise object to or refuse to answer any question, and may not directly or through the person's attorney otherwise interrupt the oral examination. Except as provided in division (H)(6)(b) of this section, if the person refuses to answer any question, a petition may be filed in the court of common pleas in Franklin county or in the county in which the examination takes place for an order compelling the person to answer the question.
(b) If the person refuses to answer any question on the grounds of the privilege against self-incrimination, the testimony of the person may be compelled in the manner provided in section 2945.44 of the Revised Code.
(7) Any person appearing for oral testimony under a civil investigative demand issued under this section shall be entitled to the same fees and allowances that are paid to witnesses in the court of common pleas.
(I)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this division or in division (B)(3) of this section, no documentary material, answers to interrogatories, or transcripts of oral testimony received under this section, or copies of documentary material, answers to interrogatories, or transcripts of oral testimony so received, while in the possession of the attorney general or the attorney general's designee, shall be available for examination by any individual other than an employee of the attorney general. This prohibition on the availability of documentary material, answers, or transcripts shall not apply if consent is given by the person who produced the documentary material, answers, or transcripts. Nothing in this division is intended to prevent disclosure to the general assembly, including any committee or subcommittee of the general assembly, to any other state agency for use by the state agency in furtherance of its statutory responsibilities, or to any law enforcement officer for use in the furtherance of the law enforcement officer's duties.
(2) While in the possession of the attorney general or the attorney general's designee and under any reasonable terms and conditions that the attorney general or designee prescribes:
(a) Documentary material and answers to interrogatories received under this section shall be available for examination by the person who produced the documentary material or answers, or by a representative of that person authorized by that person to examine the documentary material and answers.
(b) Transcripts of oral testimony shall be available for examination by the person who produced the testimony, or by a representative of that person who is authorized by that person to examine the transcripts.
(3) The attorney general or the attorney general's designee may use any documentary material, answers to interrogatories, or transcripts of oral testimony received under this section in connection with any case or proceeding before a court, grand jury, or state agency.
(4) The attorney general or the attorney general's designee shall return to a person, upon the person's request, any documentary material that the person produced in the course of any investigation pursuant to a civil investigative demand issued under this section, other than copies furnished to the attorney general or the designee, and that has not passed into the control of any court, grand jury, or state agency through introduction into the record of the case or proceeding, or into the control of any law enforcement officer, if either of the following applies:
(a) The case or proceeding before the court or grand jury arising out of the investigation, or any proceeding before any state agency involving the documentary material, has been completed.
(b) No case or proceeding in which the documentary material may be used has been commenced within a reasonable time after completion of the examination and analysis of documentary material and other information assembled in the course of the investigation.
(J) Whenever any person fails to comply with any civil investigative demand issued under this section, or whenever satisfactory copying or reproduction of any documentary material requested in the demand cannot be done and the person refuses to surrender the documentary material, the attorney general or the attorney general's designee may file in the court of common pleas in Franklin county or in the county in which the person resides, is found, or transacts business, and serve upon the person, a petition for an order of the court for the enforcement of the civil investigative demand.
(K) Documentary material, information, answers to written interrogatories, and oral testimony provided under a civil investigative demand issued under this section are not public records and are exempt from disclosure under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 2747.09.  Any employee, contractor, or agent who is discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment by the employer of the employee, contractor, or agent because of lawful acts done by the employee, contractor, agent, or associated others in furtherance of an action brought or to be brought under section 2747.03 of the Revised Code, including investigation for, initiation of, testimony for, or assistance in the action, shall be entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee, contractor, or agent whole. The relief shall include reinstatement with the same seniority status the employee, contractor, or agent would have had but for the discrimination, two times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination, including litigation costs and reasonable attorney's fees. An employee, contractor, or agent may bring an action in the appropriate court of common pleas for the relief provided under this section. The action may not be brought under this section more than three years after the last act of the employer that is alleged to violate this section.
Section 2. An action may be commenced under section 2747.03 of the Revised Code to remedy a violation of section 2747.02 of the Revised Code that occurred before the effective date of this section, unless the limitations period in division (A) of section 2747.05 of the Revised Code has elapsed.
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