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  #1  
Old 8th June 2004, 02:58 PM
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Registration Date: Jan 1996
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Caution Chris Paris of Oxebridge - Waging a Personal War

Jim Petro
Attourney General of Ohio

30 E. Broad St. 14th floor Dept 066 Columbus, OH 43215-3400 Telephone: (800) 282-0515 Telephone: (614) 466-4986 Facsimile: (614) 728-7583 www.ag.state.oh.us

June 8, 2004

Elsmar Business Systems
8466 LeSourdsville-West Chester Rd.
West Chester, OH 45069-1929


Re: Christopher Paris
Complaint #: 256873


Dear Sir/Madam:

I have been assigned to mediate the enclosed consumer complaint that has been filed in our office against your company.

As you may be aware, two primary functions of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section are to mediate resolutions to consumer complaints and to bring companies into compliance with the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (C.S.P.A.), Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) 1345.01 et seq. and the Ohio Administrative Code (O.A.C.) 109:4-3-01 et seq.

After reviewing the consumer's allegations in the complaint, we are most concerned with possible violations of O.R.C. 1345.02(A) and (B), which specifically prohibits a business from committing an unfair or deceptive act in connection with a consumer transaction.

Please note pursuant to O.R.C. 1345.09(A) and (B), the consumer is entitled to rescind the transaction or either recover minimum statutory damages of $200 per violation or treble damages, whichever is greater, if these allegations are proven in a court of law. Additionally, the consumer may be entitled to recover attorney fees.

Before we determine what action will be taken in this matter, we would like to give you the opportunity to present your side of the controversy and propose a compromise or possible manner of resolving the complaint.

I would appreciate it if you would provide me with your written reply within ten (10) days of receipt of this request so the complaint can be resolved without further action by the Consumer Protection Section.

In the event this complaint has already been satisfactorily resolved, either because you believed the complaint to be justified or because you have offered a good faith adjustment, please advise me of the terms of the resolution so I can confirm with the consumer that the resolution offered is acceptable and close the file.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

JIM PETRO
Attorney General

Nancy M. Woodruff
Consumer Protection Specialist
Consumer Protection Section
(614) 644-8397
NWoodruff@ag.state.oh.us
(614) 728-7583 (Fax)

Enclosure
2206


Home <http://intranet/apps/private/ccapsplus/welcome.asp?VisitorId=108643> Complaint <http://intranet/apps/private/ccapsplus/complaint.asp?VisitorId=108643> Inquiry <http://intranet/apps/private/ccapsplus/Inquiry.asp?VisitorId=108643> Literature <http://intranet/apps/private/ccapsplus/Store.asp?VisitorId=108643>


Complaint No.


Complaint No. 256873
The Status of your complaint is: New.
Consumer:
email: cparis@oxebridge.com

Christopher Paris
1025 West Lake Hamilton Drive
Winter Haven, FL 33881
863-651-3750 Supplier:
Elsmar Business Systems <http://www.elsmar.com>
8466 LeSourdsville-West Chester Rd.
West Cester, OH 45069-1929
513-777-3394
Sweepstakes/Prizes
Solicited via: Store Visit
Purchase Information:
Product or Service:n/a
Purchase Date: 6/1/04
Total Price: $0
Disputed Amount: $0
Amount Paid so Far: $0
Description:
The proprietor of the website www.Elsmar.com is running an illegal prize contest, the details of which can be seen here: http://www.elsmar.com/Forums/showthread.php?t=8476 In short, he will run a contest each month whereby guests to his site can submit articles; he then puts the articles up for "voting" and the winner gets $150. The violations are that: (a) the proprietor, Marc Smith, has "banned" many individuals from participation in his site, including the contest; (b) the site does not address the age of contest entrants; (c) the site owner has indicated he will send the prize money to countries currently on the US list of international sponsors of terrorism; (d) the current technology of the site allows administrators to alter poll results, by their own admission; (e) the rules of the contest are not spelled out properly; (f) the site regularly engages in slander, libel, religious slurs, and other forms of internet harassment; (g) the contest may be illegal in many states or countries outside of Ohio, but the site allows any person, from any country or state, to apply... so long as they have not been banned by the site owner. I am sure there are other aspects of local Ohio law the company is in violation of.
Satisfactory Solution:
The AG's office must notify Elsmar that its contest is illegal, and the contest must be shut down.
Complaint No. 256873

__________________

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  #2  
Old 8th June 2004, 03:15 PM
Marc's Avatar
Marc Marc is offline
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Registration Date: Jan 1996
Location: West Chester - Southern Ohio - USA
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Marc is appreciated, and has over 1700 Karma points.Marc is appreciated, and has over 1700 Karma points.
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BTW - Your comments are welcome. I will be answering this e-mail and intend to continue the 'contest' unless forced to do so by a court.

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One Test is Worth 1000 Expert Opinions - The plural of anecdote is not data - Correlation does not imply Causation
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. - Unknown
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  #3  
Old 8th June 2004, 03:42 PM
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ralphsulser ralphsulser is offline
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My first reaction is "Oh God, what an idiot".
Obviously he dosen't have enough to do, and is bored and trying to stir up something from nothing. He wins first prize for DA of the month

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  #4  
Old 8th June 2004, 03:47 PM
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Al Rosen Al Rosen is offline
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Send a message via AIM to Al Rosen
Marc:

Can't a private organization or club (closed to the general public) hold a contest? Couldn't the Forums be considered a private organization only open to those who register? What is the law in Ohio?

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  #5  
Old 8th June 2004, 04:25 PM
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Wes Bucey Wes Bucey is offline
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Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Marc

Jim Petro
Attourney General of Ohio

30 E. Broad St. 14th floor Dept 066 Columbus, OH 43215-3400 Telephone: (800) 282-0515 Telephone: (614) 466-4986 Facsimile: (614) 728-7583 www.ag.state.oh.us

June 8, 2004

Elsmar Business Systems
8466 LeSourdsville-West Chester Rd.
West Chester, OH 45069-1929


Re: Christopher Paris
Complaint #: 256873


Dear Sir/Madam:

I have been assigned to mediate the enclosed consumer complaint that has been filed in our office against your company.

As you may be aware, two primary functions of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section are to mediate resolutions to consumer complaints and to bring companies into compliance with the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (C.S.P.A.), Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) 1345.01 et seq. and the Ohio Administrative Code (O.A.C.) 109:4-3-01 et seq.

After reviewing the consumer's allegations in the complaint, we are most concerned with possible violations of O.R.C. 1345.02(A) and (B), which specifically prohibits a business from committing an unfair or deceptive act in connection with a consumer transaction.

Please note pursuant to O.R.C. 1345.09(A) and (B), the consumer is entitled to rescind the transaction or either recover minimum statutory damages of $200 per violation or treble damages, whichever is greater, if these allegations are proven in a court of law. Additionally, the consumer may be entitled to recover attorney fees.

Before we determine what action will be taken in this matter, we would like to give you the opportunity to present your side of the controversy and propose a compromise or possible manner of resolving the complaint.

I would appreciate it if you would provide me with your written reply within ten (10) days of receipt of this request so the complaint can be resolved without further action by the Consumer Protection Section.

In the event this complaint has already been satisfactorily resolved, either because you believed the complaint to be justified or because you have offered a good faith adjustment, please advise me of the terms of the resolution so I can confirm with the consumer that the resolution offered is acceptable and close the file.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

JIM PETRO
Attorney General

Nancy M. Woodruff
Consumer Protection Specialist
Consumer Protection Section
(614) 644-8397
NWoodruff@ag.state.oh.us
(614) 728-7583 (Fax)

Enclosure
2206


Home <http://intranet/apps/private/ccapsplus/welcome.asp?VisitorId=108643> Complaint <http://intranet/apps/private/ccapsplus/complaint.asp?VisitorId=108643> Inquiry <http://intranet/apps/private/ccapsplus/Inquiry.asp?VisitorId=108643> Literature <http://intranet/apps/private/ccapsplus/Store.asp?VisitorId=108643>


Complaint No.


Complaint No. 256873
The Status of your complaint is: New.
Consumer:
email: cparis@oxebridge.com

Christopher Paris
1025 West Lake Hamilton Drive
Winter Haven, FL 33881
863-651-3750 Supplier:
Elsmar Business Systems <http://www.elsmar.com>
8466 LeSourdsville-West Chester Rd.
West Cester, OH 45069-1929
513-777-3394
Sweepstakes/Prizes
Solicited via: Store Visit
Purchase Information:
Product or Service:n/a
Purchase Date: 6/1/04
Total Price: $0
Disputed Amount: $0
Amount Paid so Far: $0
Description:
The proprietor of the website www.Elsmar.com is running an illegal prize contest, the details of which can be seen here: http://www.elsmar.com/Forums/showthread.php?t=8476 In short, he will run a contest each month whereby guests to his site can submit articles; he then puts the articles up for "voting" and the winner gets $150. The violations are that: (a) the proprietor, Marc Smith, has "banned" many individuals from participation in his site, including the contest; (b) the site does not address the age of contest entrants; (c) the site owner has indicated he will send the prize money to countries currently on the US list of international sponsors of terrorism; (d) the current technology of the site allows administrators to alter poll results, by their own admission; (e) the rules of the contest are not spelled out properly; (f) the site regularly engages in slander, libel, religious slurs, and other forms of internet harassment; (g) the contest may be illegal in many states or countries outside of Ohio, but the site allows any person, from any country or state, to apply... so long as they have not been banned by the site owner. I am sure there are other aspects of local Ohio law the company is in violation of.
Satisfactory Solution:
The AG's office must notify Elsmar that its contest is illegal, and the contest must be shut down.
Complaint No. 256873
Wow! Just imagine if you had urinated on Chris's shoe! I think he'd probably want you up for capital punishment.

I'm surprised old legal eagle Chris hasn't quite figured out the difference between slander and libel. "Religious slurs"? I do note you have been particularly bigoted toward us Huguenots. (Nothing new - we survived St Bartholomew's Day Massacre; we can take anything.)
Quote:
1345.01.01 are definitions; the meat follows:

1345.02. Unfair or deceptive consumer sales practices prohibited.
(A) No supplier shall commit an unfair or deceptive act or practice in connection with a consumer transaction. Such an unfair or deceptive act or practice by a supplier violates this section whether it occurs before, during, or after the transaction.

(B) Without limiting the scope of division (A) of this section, the act or practice of a supplier in representing any of the following is deceptive:

(1) That the subject of a consumer transaction has sponsorship, approval, performance characteristics, accessories, uses, or benefits that it does not have;

(2) That the subject of a consumer transaction is of a particular standard, quality, grade, style, prescription, or model, if it is not;

(3) That the subject of a consumer transaction is new, or unused, if it is not;
(4) That the subject of a consumer transaction is available to the consumer for a reason that does not exist;

(5) That the subject of a consumer transaction has been supplied in accordance with a previous representation, if it has not, except that the act of a supplier in furnishing similar merchandise of equal or greater value as a good faith substitute does not violate this section;

(6) That the subject of a consumer transaction will be supplied in greater quantity than the supplier intends;

(7) That replacement or repair is needed, if it is not;

(8) That a specific price advantage exists, if it does not;

(9) That the supplier has a sponsorship, approval, or affiliation that the supplier does not have;

(10) That a consumer transaction involves or does not involve a warranty, a disclaimer of warranties or other rights, remedies, or obligations if the representation is false.

(C) In construing division (A) of this section, the court shall give due consideration and great weight to federal trade commission orders, trade regulation rules and guides, and the federal courts' interpretations of subsection 45(a)(1) of the "Federal Trade Commission Act," 38 Stat. 717 (1914), 15 U.S.C.A. 41, as amended.
(D) No supplier shall offer to a consumer or represent that a consumer will receive a rebate, discount, or other benefit as an inducement for entering into a consumer transaction in return for giving the supplier the names of prospective consumers, or otherwise helping the supplier to enter into other consumer transactions, if earning the benefit is contingent upon an event occurring after the consumer enters into the transaction.

(E) (1) No supplier, in connection with a consumer transaction involving natural gas service or public telecommunications service to a consumer in this state, shall request or submit, or cause to be requested or submitted, a change in the consumer's provider of natural gas service or public telecommunications service, without first obtaining, or causing to be obtained, the verified consent of the consumer. For the purpose of this division and with respect to public telecommunications service only, the procedures necessary for verifying the consent of a consumer shall be those prescribed by rule by the public utilities commission for public telecommunications service under division (D) of section 4905.72 of the Revised Code. Also, for the purpose of this division, the act, omission, or failure of any officer, agent, or other individual, acting for or employed by another person, while acting within the scope of that authority or employment, is the act or failure of that other person.
(2) Consistent with the exclusion, under 47 C.F.R. 64.1100(a)(3), of commercial mobile radio service providers from the verification requirements adopted in 47 C.F.R. 64.1100, 64.1150, 64.1160, 64.1170, 64.1180, and 64.1190 by the federal communications commission, division (E)(1) of this section does not apply to a provider of commercial mobile radio service insofar as such provider is engaged in the provision of commercial mobile radio service. However, when that exclusion no longer is in effect, division (E)(1) of this section shall apply to such a provider.

(3) The attorney general may initiate criminal proceedings for a prosecution under division (C) of section 1345.99 of the Revised Code by presenting evidence of criminal violations to the prosecuting attorney of any county in which the offense may be prosecuted. If the prosecuting attorney does not prosecute the violations, or at the request of the prosecuting attorney, the attorney general may proceed in the prosecution with all the rights, privileges, and powers conferred by law on prosecuting attorneys, including the power to appear before grand juries and to interrogate witnesses before grand juries.

HISTORY: 134 v H 103 (Eff 7-14-72); 137 v H 681 (Eff 8-11-78); 148 v H 177. Eff 5-17-2000.
The Administrative Code doesn't seem to apply at all
Quote:
Ohio Administrative Code 109:4-3-06 Prizes.

(A) It shall be a deceptive act or practice in connection with a consumer transaction for a supplier to in any way notify any consumer or prospective consumer that he has

(1) Won a prize or will receive anything of value, or

(2) Been selected, or is eligible, to win a prize or receive anything of value, if the receipt of the prize or thing of value is conditioned upon the consumer's listening to or observing a sales promotional effort or entering into a consumer transaction, unless the supplier clearly and explicitly discloses, at the time of notification of the prize, that an attempt will be made to induce the consumer or prospective consumer to undertake a monetary obligation irrespective of whether that obligation constitutes a consumer transaction. The supplier must further disclose the market value of the prize or thing of value, that the prize or thing of value could not benefit the consumer or prospective consumer without the expenditure of the consumer's or prospective consumer's time or transportation expense, or that a salesman will be visiting the consumer's or prospective consumer's residence, if such is the case.

(B) A statement to the effect that the consumer or prospective consumer must observe or listen to a "demonstration" or promotional effort in connection with a consumer transaction does not satisfy the requirements of this rule, unless the consumer or prospective consumer is told that the purpose of the demonstration is to induce the consumer or prospective consumer to undertake a monetary obligation irrespective of whether that obligation constitutes a consumer transaction.
(C) The following example illustrates a violation of this rule as a result of a lack of disclosure relative to a promotional presentation which is not a consumer transaction:
A free vacation is offered in connection with the purchase of a set of encyclopedias. All disclosures required by this rule are made except that during the vacation the consumer is required to observe a sales presentation for real estate. An offer to sell real estate is not a consumer transaction, but it is an attempt to induce the consumer to undertake a monetary obligation, and such attempt was initiated in connection with a consumer transaction (the sale of encyclopedias).
(D) It shall be a deceptive act or practice in connection with a consumer transaction for a supplier to in any way notify any consumer or prospective consumer that he has:
(1) Won a prize or will receive anything of value, or

(2) Been selected, or is eligible, to win a prize or receive anything of value, if the receipt of the prize or thing of value is conditioned upon the payment of a service charge, handling charge, mailing charge, or other similar charge.

HISTORY: (former COcp-3-01.06); Eff 6-5-73

Rule promulgated under: RC Chapter 119.


Rule authorized by: RC 1345.06
Say simply - "How is the complainant injured or damaged?" If he personally suffers no injury or damage, what is his standing to complain? If his sole damage is that he is "barred" or thinks he is barred, many contests are limited by gender, age, relationship to contest sponsor, etc. For example, athletic contests are frequently gender limited.

Positive defense: our contest is the equivalent of a Poetry or Essay contest which awards a very nominal prize. Our administrator is capable of changing the ballot at the request of a voter who realizes he made a mistake on the ballot. In this regard, we have taken the concept of "spoiled ballots" out of the picture.

I note the contest rules of an Ohio newspaper $100 prize. (The Columbus Dispatch - Columbus, Ohio's Daily Newspaper ... ... www.dispatch.com):
Quote:
Contest rules
  1. The contest is free and open to persons 18 and older. No purchase is necessary.
  2. Dispatch.com and TheBAG.com respect the privacy of visitors to the Web sites, and do not sell the e-mail addresses, names, street addresses, phone numbers or information about the users of its services. For more information, please consult our privacy policy.
  3. To enter, complete the form above and click the submit button. Each contestant is permitted to enter each contest only one time.
  4. Entries must be received by 11:59pm Thursday June 10, 2004. The Dispatch is not responsible for lost entries.
  5. Employees of The Dispatch Printing Co., promotional partner companies, their affiliated companies, their advertising agencies, their immediate families are not eligible. Independent contractors of Dispatch Consumer Services are not eligible.
  6. The prize winner will be selected at random from all correct entries. Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.
  7. Contestants agree that The Dispatch Printing Co. shall have the right, free of charge, to publish and broadcast by any means, the name and photograph of contest winners.
  8. The contest winner will be notified by e-mail within one week of the end of the promotion. To claim a prize, the winner must present a driver's license, school ID, birth certificate or Social Security card to verify his or her identity. Entries that cannot be validated by e-mail will be disqualified. Entries that do not have a current and/or complete mailing address will be disqualified.
How is that legal and The Cove contest not?

Even student lawyers compete in writing contests - see http://www.abanet.org/lsd/stulawyer/...gcontests.html
The ABA Student writing Contest limits participants
http://www.abanet.org/domviol/garlow.pdf
Another contest with a big award, which limits who may enter
http://www.abanet.org/lsd/notices/nlgla.pdf
Here's a typical contestant disclaimer: also from a contest which limits entrants [my emphasis in blue]:
Quote:
In consideration of its entry in the 2003 Legal Assistance Contest, conducted by the American Bar Association ("ABA"), I hereby assign to the ABA all my right, title and interest in the essay now submitted by me. I certify that I am an eligible entrant and that the essay was prepared by me for this contest and has not heretofore been published. I agree not to divulge my entry number to anyone prior to the selection of the winning essay, and I agree to abide by the decision of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel on any question raised in connection with the conduct of the contest and the selection of the winning essay. If my entry is judged to be the winner, I also agree to authorize the committee to edit the manuscript.

__________________________________________________________________________
(Signature of Contestant)

Last Updated: 12/11/02
I'd give Nancy a phone call and ask - "Can you point out specifically where you believe we have crossed the line? In the absence of that, can you explain why Mr. Paris is not guilty of some form of 'barratry'?"
(The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.)

__________________

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Inscribed over the entrance of Louis Pasteur School, Chicago
Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) in Thoughts, Feelings and Fancies, 1857
  #6  
Old 8th June 2004, 05:03 PM
Claes Gefvenberg's Avatar
Claes Gefvenberg Claes Gefvenberg is offline
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Karma: 9404
Claes Gefvenberg is appreciated, and has over 1700 Karma points.Claes Gefvenberg is appreciated, and has over 1700 Karma points.Claes Gefvenberg is appreciated, and has over 1700 Karma points.
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Unhappy Groan. So that's what he was up to....

I was briefly lost for words there... when I saw this:

Christopher Paris Registered User
4 Days Ago

I found this yesterday, and wondered why on earth he registered. Obviously not to take part in the contest. I didn't think he wanted to have anything to do with us? Now I realize what he was up to....

I have little knowledge of U.S. law, but I know one thing: I know a personal vendetta when I see one. Tragic....



/Claes

__________________

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Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
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  #7  
Old 8th June 2004, 06:19 PM
Marc's Avatar
Marc Marc is offline
Your Elsmar Cove Host

 
Registration Date: Jan 1996
Location: West Chester - Southern Ohio - USA
Age: 64
 
Posts: 24,193
Thanks Given to Others: 9,641
Thanked 5,312 Times in 3,340 Posts
Blog Entries: 4
Karma Power: 400
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I have prepared a draft response. I was out since early this morning with a client and got back this afternoon and read new e-mail and there it was. you can tell the time by the time I posted above as I immediately posted it here because I consider this PUBLIC INFORMATION. And, admittedly, I wanted feedback.
I've decided to wait until later to post my response in public as it is in draft. I'm listening to some advice.

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Old 9th June 2004, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Claes Gefvenberg

I was briefly lost for words there... when I saw this:

Christopher Paris Registered User
4 Days Ago

I found this yesterday, and wondered why on earth he registered. Obviously not to take part in the contest. I didn't think he wanted to have anything to do with us? Now I realize what he was up to....

I have little knowledge of U.S. law, but I know one thing: I know a personal vendetta when I see one. Tragic....



/Claes
Goes for me to

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