In the Matter of John Spangler

Body of Appellant's Brief in Ohio 11th District Court of Appeal


In this appeal, the court of appeals ruled that the probate court had improperly permitted the local Board of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities to intervene in a guardianship. The matter is now pending before the Ohio Supreme Court. This case is important because the procedure used by the board is being implemented in other counties even though it is clear that there is no statutory authority for the Board to become a party in a guardianship proceeding.

The Board filed an emergency order to remove the mother as guardian because of a disagreement that they had with her decisions regarding the ward. By allowing this, the Court essentially elevated the Board to a status equivalent to the Guardian, resulting in a costly and stressful trial pitting the guardian against the fiscal agent for the service providers. Ultimately, the court of appeals determined that the board should not have been allowed to intervene. This process was done in a similar case, but the issues were not properly preserved for review. There are likely other similar cases out there, but when I first got started on it, there was very little legal guidance. This is really a procedural argument, but it is likely that this behavior by the board is occuring throughout the state, especially since the state clearinghouse for the boards participated as an amicus in the initial appeal.

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Reference Info:Appellate Brief | State, 6th Circuit, Ohio | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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