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Mental Health

Civil commitments are legal proceedings that involve the action of a court in taking a person who is suffering from a severe mental illness and placing that person into a hospital or other place where the person can receive needed treatment. Civil commitment cases are filed in the Probate Court pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 5122 of the Revised Code.

A civil commitment case is opened when someone files an affidavit alleging that a person is mentally ill subject to hospitalization by court order. After the filing of such an affidavit the Probate Judge or one of the Probate Court Magistrates may issue a temporary order of detention ordering the person to be detained at a hospital until a hearing can be held, which hearing is normally held within 5 court days from the day the person is detained.

As used in these civil commitment proceedings, "mental Illness" means " a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life."


If a person, who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, needs treatment for it but refuses to go and/or stay in the hospital, the Probate Court can order the mentally ill person to receive such treatment. This procedure is called a civil commitment.