Mental Illness and Retardation
It is the responsibility of the Probate Court to oversee the involuntary commitment process of individuals who are alleged to be mentally ill or mentally retarded while protecting their rights and to ensure they receive treatment in the least restrictive environment. The Court hears and determines if the individual requires hospitalization. All proceedings and records are confidential.
The Court will appoint an attorney for a person if it appears the alleged mentally ill/mentally retarded person is indigent. In addition, the Court will advise all allegedly mentally ill persons of additional legal rights they have under the law.
The Mental Illness Department is responsible for processing affidavits and motions to initiate the involuntary civil commitment procedure of this Court. Hearings are conducted by the Court at various hospitals and other mental health facilities throughout the county.
The Mental Illness Department is also responsible for processing filings under R.C. Chapter 5123 and this Court appoints attorneys, doctors, psychologists, and other experts as required. When it is necessary to place a mentally retarded adult in an institutional environment, the Probate Court, after hearing, may order that person be placed in an appropriate institution such as the Cambridge Mental Health and Developmental Center.
The agency primarily responsible for making sure the mentally ill receive appropriate treatment is the Belmont County ADAMHS Board. The agency primarily responsible for reviewing placement, education and treatment of the adult mentally retarded is the Belmont County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MRDD).