The Probate Court oversees the involuntary civil commitment process of individuals who are alleged to be mentally ill or developmentally disabled. The Probate Court conducts hearings to determine whether the individual is subject to court ordered treatment. All individuals involved have legal representation throughout the process. Mental Commitment proceedings and records are confidential by law.
All Mental Commitment documents, except Outpatient Only affidavits, must be e-filed through the Franklin County e-Filing System.
The Mental Commitments Department is responsible for accepting affidavits and other applications and motions to initiate the involuntary civil commitment procedure of this Court pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5122. The Court through this Department appoints an attorney, an independent medical expert for the respondent, and maintains a strict hearing schedule with a record of the procedings. Most interaction between the Court and the County and State Mental Health systems are processed through this Department. All filings are indexed, docketed, and imaged while maintaining statutory confidentiality. Affidavits are processed by Netcare or signed by the Chief Clinical Officer (CCO) of the treating facility before being presented to the Court. The facts on the affidavit must be sufficient to indicate probable cause under law.
Outpatient Only Commitments
All outpatient affidavits filed by individuals must be filed in person and in the county of residence of the alleged mentally ill person. Please click here for Outpatient Only Commitment forms. Any affidavit for Outpatient Only Commitments must be accompanied by a doctor's statement verifying the allegation and facts contained in the affidavit. There is a charge of $25.00, Cash or Credit Card ONLY (personal checks are not accepted), for filing the affidavit. There is a $1.00 convenience fee for credit card payments. All filings must be completed within the Court by 4:00 PM.
After the affidavit is filed, a hearing will be set within 5 days and will be held in the Probate Court hearing room at Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare. The Probate Court's Bailiff will serve the alleged mentally ill person (respondent) with a summons and notice of hearing. The Court will not be issuing orders to have the alleged mentally ill person picked up and transported to the hearing.
When the affidavit is heard by the Court, the case for commitment will be presented by an attorney for the Franklin County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board.
The Mental Commitments Department also processes filings under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5123. This involves the accepting of affidavits, motions, and statements of comprehensive evaluation. The Court through this Department appoints an attorney, medical doctors/clinical psychologists, and other experts, and maintains a strict hearing schedule with a record of the procedings. These files are also confidential by statute.
For more information check out the following sites for the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH), Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities (FCBDD) and the Netcare Corporation.
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. Due to the complexity of the law and desire to avoid costly errors, most individuals who have filings before the Court are represented by an attorney. Court employees are prohibited by statute from practicing law and cannot give legal advice.