Understanding Ohio’s Court Ordered Outpatient Treatment Law

On September 17, 2014, a new law went into effect that modifies and provides clarification regarding court ordered outpatient treatment. Prior to passage of the law, many probate court judges had differing interpretations regarding their ability to order certain individuals with mental illness into treatment in an outpatient setting. Family members with loved ones with untreated mental illness and a history of harm to self or others sought to have the law clarified. In the process, other changes were made that expanded the scope of the law. This booklet provides an overview of the law and offers suggestions on steps individuals can take to ensure that it is properly implemented and applied appropriately in their community.


Click the link below to download the booklet



Click the link below for the Affidavit of Mental Illness




Ohio Civil Commitment Laws

Ohio, like every state, has its own civil commitment laws that establish criteria for determining when court-ordered treatment is appropriate for individuals with severe mental illness who are too ill to seek care voluntarily. The state authorizes both inpatient (hospital) and outpatient (community) treatment, which is known in Ohio as "outpatient civil commitment." Ohio still uses an involuntary treatment standard based primarily on a person’s likelihood of being dangerous to self or others.



For both inpatient and outpatient treatment, a person must meet the following criteria:


  • be a danger to self/others;
  • be in substantial and immediate risk of serious physical impairment or injury to self as manifested by inability to provide for basic physical needs and provision for needs is unavailable in community; or
  • be in need and would benefit from treatment as evidenced by behavior creating grave and imminent risk to substantial rights of others/self.



Any person can initiate proceedings for court-ordered treatment by filing an affidavit.