Emergency Guardianship

The Court may appoint a guardian of the person only, estate only, or person and estate of an alleged incompetent when the Court finds that an adult is mentally incompetent and the situation is life threatening or there is significant threat of a loss or damage of the individual's personal property.  To appoint an emergency guardian for a minor, the minor must be facing an immediate medical emergency. The Court may consider the information submitted by Applicant regarding the emergency on an ex parte basis, without notice to the ward or the ward’s family.  If the Court determines the information justifies the emergency action and also determines the applicant is suitable to serve, the appointment may be made.  The emergency guardian serves for a short period of time to protect the ward against significant injury to the person and/or the estate, if appropriate.

If an emergency guardian is appointed through an ex parte hearing the appointment is valid for a maximum of 72 hours.  At the ex parte hearing, the Court also will set a date and time within the 72 hours period for a further hearing to determine if the emergency guardianship should be extended for a maximum of an additional 30 days.  Notice of this hearing will be personally served upon the ward and given to other interested parties.  


Items necessary to file an Emergency Guardianship:

  1. The ward must be a Delaware County resident or the filings must include nformation regarding the home state or home county of the individual;
  2. If the ward is a non-resident of Ohio, the filier must provide the identities, relationships and addresses for the persons who would be required to be notified if the case had been commenced in the home state;
  3. Copy of Driver’s License or Government issued picture ID of the applicant;
  4. It is necessary to apply for full guardianship within the initial 72 hours of being appointed emergency guardian;
  5. If the applicant is applying to be an emergency guardian of the estate, the applicant must be bondable and a bond may be required before the appointment is made;
  6. The base court cost deposit is eighty-three dollars ($83.00);
  7. The Court will perform a record check of the proposed emergency guardian before making an appointment; and
  8. Complete the Probate Forms listed to the right.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can be Done if there is an Immediate Risk of Significant Injury to the Ward or the Ward’s Property?

Under RC 2111.02(B) (3) an appointment of a guardian may be made by the Court in an emergency without notice to the individual (ward) or the family to serve only for a limited period of time and only for the protection of the ward from injury to the ward or the ward’s assets.  There must be reasonably demonstrated certainty that immediate action is required to prevent significant injury to the person or estate of the minor or alleged incompetent person.  When a need for the emergency guardian is determined to exist the Court may issue any order it considers necessary to prevent the threatened injury or mitigate the emergent situation.

Can the Emergency Guardianship be Extended?

The ex parte appointment is effective only for a maximum of 72 hours.  A copy of the Court’s order must be served upon the individual as soon as possible after it is issued.  With notice to the individual and other interested parties and with a hearing, the emergency guardianship may be extended for an additional 30 days.

What are the Powers of the Emergency Guardian?

The emergency guardian has only those powers set forth in the Court’s appointing order and those will be limited to the powers that are necessary to prevent the threatened injury to the individual’s person or property.  The emergency guardian does not have the full powers held by a general guardian.

What if the Emergency Continues?

If there is a perceived need for a permanent guardian, an application for a full (or limited) guardianship should be commenced simultaneously with the filing of the emergency guardianship to permit timely processing and a full hearing before the expiration of the emergency appointment.

When does the Emergency Guardianship Terminate?

The emergency guardianship terminates on the earlier of the expiration of the effective period of the Court’s order (72 hours/30 days), the issuance of an order appointing a general Guardian for the individual, or upon other order of the Court.  

Additional information