<¶>AFSA contends that the two laws are in direct conflict because the ordinances require more of lenders in Cleveland than the state statutes do. AFSA further argues that there is a state prohibition against municipal lending regulation and the city ordinances are a direct affront to this prohibition.
<¶>Insofar as AFSA claims that R.C. 1.63 imposes a prohibition on municipal lending regulation, AFSA may not rely on that statutory construction because a complete preemption by the legislature would be unconstitutional. See Mentor Green Mobile go to my blog Estates v. Mentor (Aug. 23, 1991), Lake App. No. 90-L-15-135, 1991 WL 163450. Fondessy Enterprises, Inc. v. Oregon (1986), 23 Ohio St.3d 213, 214, 23 OBR 372, 492 N.E.2d 797, citing Akron v. Scalera (1939), 135 Ohio St. 65, 66, 13 O.O. 376, 19 N.E.2d 279. As stated by the Supreme Court of Ohio in Fondessy:”If the provisions of [a state statute] do preclude a home rule municipality, with police powers guaranteed it by the Ohio Constitution, from enacting any and all legislation related to the state statute, then that provision of state law must be ruled unconstitutional.” 23 Ohio St.3d at 216, 23 OBR 372, 492 N.E.2d 797.
<¶>We also find that R.C. 1.63 is not a general law. In Canton v. State, 95 Ohio St.3d 149, 153, 2002-Ohio-2005, 766 N.E.2d 963, the Supreme Court of Ohio set forth the following standard for evaluating whether a statute constitutes a general law: “[T]o constitute a general law for purposes of home-rule analysis, a statute must (1) be part of a statewide and comprehensive legislative enactment, (2) apply to all parts of the state alike and operate uniformly throughout the state, (3) set forth police, sanitary, or similar regulations, rather than purport only to grant or limit legislative power of a municipal corporation to set forth police, sanitary, or similar regulations, and (4) prescribe a rule of conduct upon citizens generally.”
<¶>R.C. 1.63 provides the state with sole authority to regulate the business of originating, granting, servicing, and collecting loans and preempts municipal ordinances that attempt to regulate the business. R.C. 1.63 does not prescribe a rule of conduct upon citizens generally. Even if considered and read as part of a comprehensive legislative enactment, R.C. 1.63 applies only to legislative bodies, and not to citizens generally. Therefore, it is not a general law. See Canton v. State, 95 Ohio St.3d at 157, 2002-Ohio-2005, 766 N.E.2d 963. Since R.C. 1.63 is not a general law and the state’s attempt to extinguish the legislative power of a municipal corporation under R.C. 1.63 is unconstitutional, we need not consider whether the city ordinances are in conflict therewith.
<¶> The Supreme Court of Ohio has held that absent statutory language that limits local regulation, state rules providing minimum requirements do not conflict with local rules providing for stricter regulation. Middleburg Hts. v. Ohio Bd. of Bldg. Stds. (1992), 65 Ohio St.3d 510, 513-515, 605 N.E.2d 66; see, also, Sullivan v. Hamilton Cty. Bd. of Health, 155 Ohio App.3d 609, 2003-Ohio-6916, 802 N. Rowland (1999), 87 Ohio St.3d 9, 12, 716 N.E.2d 1121. Further, a city is permitted to adopt greater protections, requirements, or standards than those of the state, provided no conflict is presented. Das v. Ohio State Univ. (2000), 115 F.Supp.2d 885, 892; Mentor Green Mobile Estates v. Mentor (Aug. 23, 1991), Lake App. No. 90-L-15-135, 1991 WL 163450; see, also, Fondessy, 23 Ohio St.3d 213, 23 OBR 372, 492 N.E.2d 797.