Used-car dealer to lose license for bad records

Unreliable records
The case: Ohio used-car dealer failed to make records available to Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The result: Appeals court upholds the revocation of her license.

A Columbus, Ohio, used-car dealer has lost a court challenge to her license revocation for improper record keeping.

The Ohio Motor Vehicle Dealers Board had ample cause to revoke the license of Jean Martin, who does business as JBM Leasing & Rental, the state Court of Appeals ruled.

Martin was cited for several violations, including failure to maintain required records and failure to make those records available to a Bureau of Motor Vehicles inspector.

State law requires dealers to keep records, including purchase agreements, financing documents, title records and odometer disclosure statements, for three years, according to Rod Evans, an administrative assistant in the dealer licensing section of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The board revoked Martin’s license after an administrative hearing in 1999, and a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas judge upheld that decision.

So did the appeals court.

“Here, an investigator could not reasonably inspect the records in earlier visits because the dealership was closed and unattended during scheduled business hours,” the court said.

“On a subsequent visit, the records were unavailable for inspection, allegedly because they were stolen.”

Evans said that unless there is a further appeal, the board will schedule a date for Martin to surrender her license and any dealer tags.

Martin’s lawyer, John Johnson II of Westerville, said he does not expect his client to take the case any further. “I don’t see any avenue to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court,” he said.

You can reach Eric Freedman at freedma5@msu.edu

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