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Probate Court is a division of the Courts of Common Pleas in Ohio. Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction over certain special types of cases: estates, guardianships of incompetent persons and minors, name changes of adults and minors, and adoptions. The Probate Court also issues marriage licenses.

Juvenile Court has jurisdiction over legal issues involving people under the age of eighteen. Cases regarding delinquency, traffic, and unruly charges are heard and decided by the Juvenile Court. Custody, visitation and support matters for children whose parents were not married also come under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court.

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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic (coronavirus), multiple administrative orders have been issued by both the Common Pleas Court as a whole, as well as the Probate and Juvenile Divisions. These orders seek to reduce in-person contact at the courthouse, with members of the public, and with court staff. Local Rule provisions are being adapted to provide flexibility to address the current public health concerns.

HEARINGS

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wayne County Probate and Juvenile Court is converting all hearings to occur via video conferencing through Zoom or teleconference.

The following are criteria that the Court considers when converting the hearing to a video conference or whether to issue a continuance instead:

     1. Whether any constitutional or statutory rights apply;

     2. The anticipated time duration of the hearing;

     3. Whether all necessary parties and witnesses have access to video and audio capabilities; 

     4. Whether presentation of evidence will provide any added technical obstacles; and

     5. The appropriateness of a continuance of the hearing - rather than conversion to a video hearing.

For parties who would like to participate or will be participating in video hearings with the Court, the Court has prepared a guide to using Zoom, which can be found here. Parties and counsel participating via Zoom must have video and audio capabilities as well as access to the internet. If participating, please call the Court at (330) 264-4970 to provide an email address and telephone number at which you can be reached for the hearing.

FILINGS

Due to COVID-19, the Court is encouraging members of the public to file documents with the Court via eFiling or mail whenever possible. Again, the purpose of this request is to reduce face-to-face interaction when possible. In the event an ex parte or emergency request is being filed, please call the Court at (330) 264-4970 to advise of such and to assist the Court in quickly reviewing the filing.

MARRIAGE LICENSES

Effective Monday, April 13, 2020, the Court is temporarily requiring a scheduling appointment for all marriage license applications. Please call ahead at (330) 287-5575 to schedule an appointment to meet with a clerk to complete the marriage license application process.

HELP DESK

Lastly, in accordance with the above, the Court is temporarily suspending the Help Desk program. All appointments presently scheduled are cancelled at this time. The Court intends to reopen the Help Desk once the COVID-19 emergency has passed.

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The Court is committed to maintaining its public services as possible during this difficult time, while still acting in a manner protective of public health. Any updates to the above protocol will be listed here on the Court's website as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding through this process.