This local rule is applicable to all guardians appointed by the Court pursuant to R.C. 2111.02. Comments and complaints (hereinafter collectively referred to as "complaints") received regarding the performance of guardians and the resulting documents and correspondence are considered to be case documents and accessible to the public, unless otherwise excluded pursuant to Superintendence Rule 44 (C)(2). The Court will note actions with respect to the complaint in the case docket.
The Court will not accept or act upon an oral or telephonic complaint against a guardian, other than to provide the address to which to hand-deliver, fax, or mail the written complaint. The Court will not accept an anonymous complaint. When the Court receives the written complaint regarding a guardian's performance, it will date-stamp the complaint. Complaints received by fax on days the Court is closed shall be deemed to have been received on the next day the Court is open.
When a complaint is received at the Court by hand-delivery, fax, or mail:
- Within five (5) court days of receipt of the complaint the Court shall send a letter to the complainant acknowledging the receipt of the complaint and providing a copy of this rule. A copy of that letter, the complaint and the rule shall be provided to the guardian and guardian’s counsel, unless previously mailed.
- Within ten (10) court days of the mailing to the complainant, the Court shall perform an initial review of the complaint after a study of the guardianship case, and
- Send the complainant a letter dismissing the complaint as unsubstantiated/unspecific/insufficient and send a copy of the complaint and response to the guardian and guardian’s counsel; or
- Send a copy of the complaint to the guardian and guardian’s counsel and request a response to the complaint within fifteen (15) court days from the date of mailing. The forwarding letter shall advise the guardian and guardian’s counsel that a failure to respond will result in a show cause hearing being set with the attendance of the guardian required. A copy of the forwarding letter shall be provided to the complainant; or
- Notify the complainant, the guardian and guardian’s counsel and refer the matter to the Court Investigator for an investigation and a report within fifteen (15) court days from the date of referral; and/or
- When appropriate, refer the matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency pursuant to R.C. 2101.26 if the complaint alleges abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the ward. When the Court refers a complaint to law enforcement, the Court will take such emergency action as it determines necessary to protect the interests of the ward while being cognizant of the need to have minimal impact on investigation by law enforcement.
- Upon the expiration of the period for the responsive reports from the guardian or Court Investigator to be filed, or upon their earlier filing, the case file (including the written response(s) and the complaint) shall be submitted to the Magistrate and within fifteen (15) court days the Magistrate shall do one or more of the following:
- Find the complaint to have been resolved or unsubstantiated and advise the complainant, guardian and guardian’s counsel accordingly by letter;
- Set a review conference or a show cause hearing with notice to the complainant, the ward, the guardian and guardian’s counsel, and other interested parties; or
- Appoint a guardian ad litem or attorney to represent the best interests of the ward.
Except when administratively dismissing a complaint or acting in an emergency, the Court shall not act without a hearing. The Magistrate shall issue findings and conclusions with respect to any hearing held on the complaint. The Court's journalization relating to the Magistrate's Decision will close the complaint. The Court's actions may include dismissal, directives for remedial action, establishing periodic review dates, allocating costs and fees, referral to law enforcement for investigation, sanctions, removal, and any other actions permitted by law.
When the ward is a veteran and the Court appointed the guardian under Revised Code Chapter 5905, notice of the complaint, reports, hearings and actions shall be given to the Administrator of Veterans Affairs of the United States pursuant to R.C. 5905.03.
All complaints, comments and disposition shall be kept within the Court file of the ward where the guardian was appointed.