648.015   PRICE GOUGING.
   (a)   Definitions. As used in this Section, the singular includes the plural and the masculine includes the feminine and neuter genders.
      (1)   "Building materials" means lumber, construction tools, windows, and anything else used in building or rebuilding of property.
      (2)   "Consumer food item" means any article that is used or intended for use for food, drink, confection, or condiment by a person or animal.
      (3)   "Emergency supplies" includes, but is not limited to, water, flashlights, radios, batteries, candles, blankets, soap, diapers, temporary shelters, tape, toiletries, plywood, nails, and hammers.
      (4)   "Fuel" means any liquid or gas used to power any motor vehicle or power tool or to provide energy for heating or cooling dwelling units, buildings or other structures.
      (5)   "Housing" means any rental housing and includes any housing provided by a hotel or motel.
      (6)   "Local emergency" means any natural or man-made disaster or emergency resulting from a tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, riot, storm or terrorist act for which a local emergency has been declared by the Mayor of the City, or by the Executive of the County of Summit.
      (7)   "Medical supplies" includes, but is not limited to, prescription and nonprescription medications, bandages, gauze, isopropyl alcohol, and antibacterial products.
      (8)   "Person" means a natural person, individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, incorporated or unincorporated association, and any other legal or commercial entity however organized.
      (9)   "Repair or reconstruction services" means services performed by any person for repairs to residential or commercial property of any type that is damaged as a result of a disaster or terrorist attack.
      (10)   "Retail service business or establishment" means any business or establishment which provides services to consumers at retail.
      (11)   "Service" means any service performed by a retail service business or establishment as well as any personal service provided by person to a consumer for which money is paid or a thing of value is exchanged between the parties.
      (12)   "State of emergency" or "State of Local Emergency" means a natural or man-made disaster or emergency resulting from a tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, riot, storm, act of war, threat of war, military action, or the time of instability following a terrorist attack for which a state of emergency has been declared by the President of the United States; the Governor of the State of Ohio; the Executive of the County of Summit or the Mayor of the City of Fairlawn.
      (13)   "Transportation, freight and storage services" means any service that is performed by any person or company that contracts to move, store, or transport personal or business property or rents equipment or space for those purposes.
   (b)   Price Gouging in States of Emergency.
      (1)   Upon the proclamation of a state of emergency by the President of the United States or the Governor of the State of Ohio, or upon the declaration of a local emergency by the Mayor of the City of Fairlawn, or by the Executive of the County of Summit and continuing for the existence of the state of emergency or for thirty (30) days following the declaration, whichever period is longer, it is unlawful, for any person to charge any other person a price for any consumer food item; repair or reconstruction services; emergency supplies; medical supplies; building materials; gasoline; transportation, freight, storage services; retail services; housing; or any other service that is more than ten percent (10%) above the price charged by that person for those goods or services ten (10) days immediately prior to the declaration of emergency.
      (2)   A price increase shall not be unlawful if the person charging such higher prices establishes by prima facie evidence that the increase was directly attributable to additional costs imposed on it by the supplier of the goods or services, or was directly attributable to additional costs for labor or materials used to provide the goods or services.
   (c)   Penalty.
      (1)   Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor in the first degree and shall be subject to the penalty provided in Section 698.02.
      (2)   Nothing in this section restricts a private cause of action in favor of any person damaged by a violation of this Chapter.
(Ord. 2004-004A.  Passed 2-23-04.)