Lawsuit

State sues closed auto dealership

By

September 5, 2013

NEWARK, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing a former Heath auto dealership and the three brothers who ran it, accusing them of failing to deliver titles to customers who bought used vehicles.

According to the suit, Clark Motor Co., 1070 Hebron Rd., which closed this year, and its management team of Phillip, David and Christopher Clark, all of Newark, “engaged in unfair or deceptive acts.” The state is seeking to recoup more than $94,000 that it paid out of a fund it uses to resolve title complaints. According to the attorney general’s website, used-car dealerships pay into the fund to allow them to sell vehicles before they’ve secured the titles from, for example, an auto auction.

State law mandates that dealers have 30 days from the sale date to apply for a vehicle’s title and 40 days to deliver the title to the buyer. If the dealer doesn’t meet those deadlines, consumers can seek the attorney general’s assistance. Buyers also can choose to cancel the transaction and get their money back from the fund.

The suit, filed yesterday in Licking County Common Pleas Court, also seeks a civil penalty of $25,000 for each violation.The Clarks could not be reached for comment.

elyttle@dispatch.com

@ewlyttle