421 N.E.2d 128 (Ohio 1981), 80-1100, Plumbers & Steamfitters Joint Apprenticeship Committee v. Ohio Civil Rights Commission

Docket Nº:80-1100.
Citation:421 N.E.2d 128, 66 Ohio St.2d 192
Opinion Judge:SWEENEY, J.
Party Name:PLUMBERS & STEAMFITTERS JOINT APPRENTICESHIP COMMITTEE, Appellee, v. OHIO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION et al., Appellants.
Attorney:Blese A. Richardson, complainant, filed a charge affidavit with the appellant, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (hereinafter commission), alleging that he was discriminatorily discharged on the basis of race from the apprentice program of the appellee, the Plumbers & Steamfitters Joint Apprentice...
Judge Panel:CELEBREZZE, C. J., and WILLIAM B. BROWN, PAUL W. BROWN, LOCHER and CLIFFORD F. BROWN, JJ., concur.
Case Date:May 20, 1981
Court:Supreme Court of Ohio
 
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Page 128

421 N.E.2d 128 (Ohio 1981)

66 Ohio St.2d 192

PLUMBERS & STEAMFITTERS JOINT APPRENTICESHIP COMMITTEE, Appellee,

v.

OHIO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION et al., Appellants.

No. 80-1100.

Supreme Court of Ohio.

May 20, 1981

Page 129

       Syllabus by the Court

       1. The Ohio Civil Rights Commission is not subject to the 30-day (formerly 20-day) record certification requirement of R.C. 119.12.

       2. The findings and orders of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission must be supported by reliable, probative, and substantial evidence.

       Blese A. Richardson, complainant, filed a charge affidavit with the appellant, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (hereinafter "commission"), alleging that he was discriminatorily discharged on the basis of race from the apprentice program of the appellee, the Plumbers & Steamfitters Joint Apprenticeship Committee of Akron (hereinafter "JAC"). 1 The commission, after a full evidentiary hearing, issued an order that required JAC to reinstate the complainant with back pay.

       JAC appealed the commission's order to the Court of Common Pleas of Summit County. The court held that the findings and order of the commission were supported by reliable, probative, and substantial evidence. The court also overruled JAC's motion for final judgment based on the commission's allegedly untimely certification of the record pursuant to R.C. 119.12.

       Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed on two independent grounds. First, the Court of Appeals held that the commission was an "agency" subject to the record certification requirements of R.C. 119.12. The court also held that the [66 Ohio St.2d 193] findings and order of the commission were not supported by reliable, probative, and substantial evidence.

       This cause is now before this court upon the allowance of a motion to certify the record.

       Millisor, Belkin & Nobil and Jeffrey A. Belkin, Akron, for appellee.

       William J. Brown, Atty. Gen., and Joseph M. Oser, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellants.

       SWEENEY, Justice.

I A.

       The procedural question raised in this appeal is whether the commission is subject to the 30-day (formerly 20-day) record certification requirement of R.C. 119.12. R.C. Chapter 119, the Administrative Procedure Act, establishes the procedural framework within which state agencies must operate. R.C. 119.01 defines "agency" in three ways for purposes of the Act. The first category consists of agencies enumerated in the statute. 2 The second category includes "the functions of any administrative or executive officer, department, division, * * * or commission * * * specifically made subject to sections 119.01 to 119.13 of the Revised Code." (Emphasis added.) Administrative agencies with the authority to issue, suspend, revoke or cancel licenses comprise the third group of agencies to which R.C. Chapter 119 applies. The statute

Page 130

also exempts certain other named agencies from its coverage. 3

       The commission is neither expressly included in nor expressly excluded from the statutory definition of agency. The commission does not engage in licensing activities. Therefore, the only potentially applicable portion of the statutory definition is the second category, and the question is whether the [66 Ohio St.2d 194] commission is "specifically made subject to sections 119.01 to 119.13." See Fair v. School Employees Retirement System (1975), 44 Ohio App.2d 115, 335 N.E.2d 868.

       The enabling legislation for the commission is contained in R.C. Chapter 4112. R.C. 4112.05 sets forth the procedures that the commission must follow in pursuing discrimination complaints. R.C. 4112.06 governs judicial review of commission orders. R.C. 4112.05(G) and 4112.05(I) specifically subject the commission to R.C. Chapter 119. R.C. 4112.06 makes no reference to R.C. Chapter 119.

       Reading R.C. Chapters 119 and 4112 together leads to an incongruous result. A literal reading of the statutory language reveals that the commission is an agency specifically subject to R.C. Chapter 119 for purposes of R.C. 4112.05(G) and (I). Under R.C. 4112.06, however, the commission is not an agency because judicial review of commission proceedings is not specifically made subject to R.C. Chapter 119. We are constrained to hold that the commission's administrative split personality represents the intent of the General Assembly. Therefore, the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that the commission is an agency subject to R.C. Chapter 119 for purposes of judicial review.

I B.

       The Court of Appeals, upon finding the commission to be an agency subject to R.C. Chapter 119, applied R.C. 119.12, which states in relevant part:

       "Within thirty days (formerly 20 days) after receipt of notice of appeal from an order in any case wherein a hearing is required by sections 119.01 to 119.13 of the Revised Code, the agency shall prepare and certify to the court a complete record of the proceedings in the case. Failure of the agency to comply within the time allowed shall, upon motion, cause the court to enter a finding in favor of the party adversely affected."

       Since the commission concededly did not certify the record within the then applicable 20-day period, the Court of Appeals granted judgment for JAC, which had timely moved for final judgment pursuant to R.C. 119.12 in the Court of Common Pleas.

       The Court of Appeals noted that "(i)f no time limit applies [66 Ohio St.2d 195] to a late filing, then years could pass before the Commission need file a transcript." Moreover, undue delay would be a...

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