Governor Kasich signs into law H.B. 27, the Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act

January 3, 2013 / guardianship

In January 2011, Representatives Peter Stautberg and Tom Letson introduced H.B. 27, a legislative measure authorizing the state of Ohio to adopt the Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act. After numerous stakeholder meetings, policy discussions, amendment drafting sessions, and a final series of committee hearings, the bill passed the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 20, 2012. Ohio’s adoption of the bill makes it the 37th state to adopt such a law, aimed at establishing common rules amongst states for addressing jurisdictional, transfer, communication and enforcement issues of adult guardianship matters. This will make it easier for Ohio courts to communicate with courts in states that have also adopted this language about issues of guardianship for adults.

While Disability Rights Ohio ultimately supported the changes proposed in H.B. 27, the organization did initially voice concerns about potential impact the legislation could have on clients’ due process and civil rights protections under current state guardianship law. Indeed, Disability Rights Ohio participated in the legislative process by reaching out to policy makers and other stakeholders to educate and inform them of our clients’ interests and concerns with the bill. In addition, Disability Rights Ohio staff participated in a series of Interested Party meetings, hosted by the bill’s sponsors to improve the bill and discuss outstanding concerns. The other stakeholders involved in the meetings were representatives from the Ohio State Bar Association, the Ohio Judicial Conference and the Ohio Alzheimer’s Association. As a result of the meetings and policy discussions, an agreement was reached on a few key amendments to H.B. 27 so that it could be moved through the legislative process. Disability Rights Ohio’s efforts focused on including language that would ensure due process protections for wards and other persons subject to guardianship orders or other jurisdictional proceedings.

H.B. 27 will become effective 90 days after the Governor signed the bill into law.

Additional Disability Rights Ohio resources on adult guardianship matters or alternatives to guardianships can be found on in our guardianship FAQ.

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