Ohio law (O.R.C 3793.32 et. seq.) permits a spouse, relative or guardian to file in the Probate Court a verified petition alleging that an individual residing in Huron County who suffers from alcohol or drug abuse, is in imminent danger or imminent threat of danger to self, family or others as a result of the alcohol or other drug abuse, and can reasonably benefit from treatment. The applicable court cost deposit must be paid. The case caption is entitled “In the Interest of (name of respondent)”. The contents of the petition are specified in the statutes and the filing of the petition requires a probable cause hearing where the Applicant is examined by the Court under oath, and permits the Probate Court to schedule a full hearing within 7 days. Upon a finding based upon clear and convincing evidence that the individual may reasonably benefit from treatment, the Probate Court is permitted (but not required) to order the individual to undergo treatment.
The responsibility for payment for the treatment and examination expenses is upon the applicant, who must deposit with the Court upon the filing of the petition one-half of the estimated costs of the treatment of the respondent and sign a financial guarantee for the costs associated with the hearing, the examination of the respondent and the balance of the costs of any treatment ordered by the Court. Treatment, if ordered, must be delivered by a licensed or certified facility from a list of the providers established by the mental health and recovery services board.
The receipt of good legal advice can be critically important to a person intending to file a petition for the involuntary treatment of an individual suffering from alcohol or other drug abuse since upon filing there are substantial financial deposits for treatment that must be paid and further financial guarantees that must be signed. The petitioner is not required to have an attorney.