For Industry Professionals, Managers, Trades & Suppliers
J. NORMAN STARK, ATTORNEY and REGISTERED ARCHITECT
JURIS DOCTOR, B. ARCHITECTURE, B.F.A.
17000 St. Clair Avenue . Cleveland, Ohio 44110-2535
Tel.: (216) 531-5310 . Fax: (888) 833-5860 . E-Mail: www.Normstark@aol.com
In Florida . 6500 Midnight Pass Rd. #105 . Sarasota, FL 34242 . (941) 349-2061.
Consumer Sales Practices Act ("CSPA")
The Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act "CSPA", was enacted to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive and unconscionable
acts or practices by suppliers. The Act defines which business practices are legal or illegal, and including what suppliers
can and cannot represent in advertisements. It also describes action that may be taken by the Attorney General of Ohio
where violations are reported in consumer complaints.
The Act includes: ".a sale, lease, assignment, award by chance, or other transfer of an item of goods, a service, franchise,
or an intangible, to an individual for purposes that are primarily personal, family, or household, or solicitation to
supply any of these things."
In one recent case decided by the Courts, the complaint included "shoddy and unworkmanlike services" and the actions the
builder "took in delaying the construction of the" residence. "Ohio courts have held that CSPA applies to contracts to
build a home because these transactions involve the purchase of services rather than simply the purchase of real estate."
DeLutis v. Ashwort Home Builders, Inc., 9th Dist. No. 24302, 2009-Ohio-1052, at ¶8.
However, while CSPA is inapplicable to the sale of an existing home, it would apply to that portion of an agreement that
involved the (new) construction of additional structures and other services provided by the builder or contractor.
Unfair or deceptive acts or practices are prohibited by R.C. 1345.02. In order to ascertain whether an act violates R.C.
1345.02(A), one must look to three sources. R.C. 1345.02(B) enumerates practices which are deceptive and unfair.
Furthermore, as outlined in R.C. 1345.05(B)(2), the Attorney General of Ohio is authorized to "adopt substantive rules
defining with reasonable specificity acts or
practices that violate sections 1345.02, 1345.03, and 1345.031 of the Revised Code"; these rules are found in the Ohio Administrative Code. The courts of Ohio have also defined acts and practices
considered to be deceptive and unfair. See, e.g., Frey v. Vin Devers, Inc. (1992), 80 Ohio.App.3d 1, 6; Fletcher v. Don
Foss of Cleveland, Inc. (1993), 90 Ohio.App.3d 82, 86.
Furthermore, R.C. 1345.03(B) outlines the factors to be taken into consideration when determining whether an act or practice
See: DeCola v. Pete Wing Contracting, Inc., 2010-Ohio-2283, 2009-A-0012 (CA11, ASHTABULA, Decided May 21, 2010).
Experienced legal Counsel should be consulted to advise and assist in all real estate transactions, to insure consumer
protection in all such important undertakings and purchases.
"There are two sides to every question: my side and the wrong side."
AUTHOR / EDITOR: J. NORMAN STARK is an Attorney-at-Law, a Registered Architect, (AIA, NCARB) Registered
Landscape Architect, Interior Designer, Planner and Senior Appraiser (ASA), admitted to practice law before the Bar of
Ohio, the US District Courts, Ohio and Illinois (Central Dist.), the US Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme
Court. He is a Mediator, Arbitrator and Litigator with experience in Business, Construction Law, and Public Works, and with
additional experience in Real Estate, Construction Attorney (Legal Project and Crisis Management), and as an Expert Witness
(Forensic Architect). His office is in Cleveland, Ohio.