Ohio

This page provides a breakdown of all major developments and right to counsel law that the NCCRC knows for this state, sorted by subject area. Click on either tab below to see the aspect it describes.

Color Key Explanation
Categorical Right To Counsel There is a right to counsel without qualification for all indigent individuals in this type of case (except that the individual may be required to request counsel).
Discretionary Appointment Of Counsel Courts are permitted but not required to appoint counsel for any indigent individual in this type of case. A request may be required.
Right Or Appointment Is Qualified The established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including: the only authority comes from a lower/intermediate court decision or a city government, not a high court or state legislature; a case has cast doubt on prior authority; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all individuals or proceedings within that type of case.
No Such Proceeding This state has no law creating a judicial proceeding of this type.
None While this state does not provide for or require appointment of counsel with respect to the given subject area, it does have something (such as a report or bar policy) that supports the right to or appointment of counsel for this subject area.
Other Because the "Other subject areas” category can include developments from different subject areas that do not work the same way as each other, a blanket categorization of this category is not possible.

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent parents have a right to counsel in abuse/neglect proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children have a right to counsel in abuse/neglect proceedings if they are not represented by counsel for their parents.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Adult Protective Proceedings - Proposed Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for the subject of an Ohio adult protective proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for a minor seeking to bypass the parental consent requirement for an abortion.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Civil Contempt in Family Court

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for an indigent respondent in a child support civil contempt proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Right to counsel

Several intermediate courts have found a right to counsel in civil contempt proceedings, although others have not.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for the indigent subject of a civil commitment proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Ohio Supreme Court found a federal due process right to counsel in civil commitment proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Consumer Debt

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

Ohio law permits the appointment of counsel for an alleged victim of creditor discrimination.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes

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Custody Disputes - Children

Court Rule or Initiative

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court can appoint counsel for a child in a custody case.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Domestic Violence - Accused Person

Legislation

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for a juvenile respondent in a domestic violence protection order proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

An Ohio appellate court found a due process right to counsel for a juvenile respondent in a protection order proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Ohio Supreme Court extends right to counsel to guardianship review cases

01/01/2012

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that as a matter of statutory construction, there is a right to counsel in reviews of existing guardianships.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon The NCCRC helped petitioners with legal research and briefing for the Ohio Supreme Court case.

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Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to appointed counsel in guardianship establishment and review cases, but only upon request and if the person is indigent.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC assisted with briefing on the McQueen case.

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Housing - Evictions

Report

Cincinnati report flags troubling eviction stats, calls for right to counsel

06/25/2018

A new report flags the low number of represented tenants and the high minority eviction rates in Cincinnati, and calls for a right to counsel.

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Incarceration for Fees/Fines (incomplete)

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Ohio guarantees counsel whenever a person faces incarceration for violation of a state statute, including the fees/fines statutes.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Right to counsel

Several intermediate courts have found a right to counsel in civil contempt proceedings, although others have not.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Paternity - Defendant/Respondent

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The Ohio Supreme Court found a state and federal constitutional due process right to counsel for the respondent in paternity proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Paternity - Petitioner or Child

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

Children must be appointed counsel in paternity proceedings if the child's interest conflicts with that of the mother.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Commitment

Legislation

No such proceeding

There is no procedure in the state for confinement of a sexually dangerous/violent person.

Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for children not represented by counsel for the parents.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent parents in termination of parental rights proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Litigation

Supreme Court of Ohio strengthens parental right to counsel

01/04/2018

A new decision from the Supreme Court of Ohio creates a stronger standard for waiver of a parent's right to counsel in the termination context.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon The NCCRC gave some research and strategic assistance to the petitioner.

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Right to counsel

The Ohio Supreme Court found a due process right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases, although the decision may be in question.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Truancy - Petition Against Child

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

An indigent child has a right to counsel in Ohio truancy proceedings (which are treated either as "unruly child" or delinquency matters).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

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