LEGAL PRACTICE IN THE PROBATE COURT
Legal practice in the Probate Court is restricted by law to attorneys who are licensed by the Supreme Court of Ohio. If an individual wishes to handle his or her own case, he or she may do so; however, they may not represent others. Due to the complexity of the law and the desire to avoid costly errors, most individuals who have filings before the Court are represented by an attorney. Deputy clerks are prevented by law from practicing law and, therefore, are not permitted to give advice.
Civil involuntary commitments of the mentally ill and developmentally disabled to State Hospitals are the responsibility of the Probate Court. The Court is required to hold evidentiary hearings to determine the appropriateness of commitment and the length and place of treatment. Mental illness proceedings may result in inpatient and/or outpatient commitments.
Some mental illness proceedings are brought before the Court by family members or friends, when the mentally ill person’s circumstances pose an imminent risk of harm to self or others. Since each case involving a civil involuntary commitment is uniquely different; a family member or friend trying to assist in the care of a mentally ill person should come to Sandusky County Probate Court to discuss the circumstances of the mentally ill person, or call the Probate Court at 419-334-6211.
In the event of an emergency concerning a mentally ill person, 911 should be called. Law Enforcement has the ability to take a mentally ill person to the Emergency Room whether or not they consent to treatment, if the person represents an imminent risk of physical harm to self or others.
In October 2003, a law permitting a Declaration for Mental Health Treatment became effective. This mental health declaration allows you to state your own preferences regarding your mental health treatment and to name a person to make mental health care decisions for you when you cannot make these important decisions for yourself. You can name any adult, except your mental health treatment provider, but it should be a person that you know and trust, because that person will need to agree to make decisions for you. The form is called the Ohio Declaration for Mental Health Treatment. It is important to complete this form in advance and keep it “on file”. You can provide the Court with the form if treatment is necessary. If you would like to complete this form and keep it in your files SEARCH HERE.
Sandusky County Probate Court has provided the Ohio Declaration for Mental Health Treatment form for your convenience.