Casey's Law in Ohio - Effective 3/22/12!

~~~~~~MAKE A DIFFERENCE!~~~~~~
Ohio Senate Bill 117 (Casey's Law for Ohio)
has been signed into law by Governor Kasich.
The law will become effective 3/22/12!

Ohio families now have a mechanism to help their
friends and family members
who struggle with the disease of addiction.

Thanks to all those who helped support this legislation!

My heartfelt thanks to Senator Seitz who took a grieving mother's request for change to heart and made something happen. I believe this legislation will help save lives. My thanks to Senator Schiavoni who co-sponsored SB117
and all those throughout the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives who supported this legislation.   - Kathy Sturwold (Brandon's mom)

3/10/11 - Introduced by Senator Sietz
4/7/11 - Passed Judiciary Civil Justice Committee
6/21/11- Passed by the Ohio Senate
6/22/11 - Introduced to Ohio House of Representatives
9/29/11-  Passed Ohio House Judiciary and Ethics Committee
11/15/11 - Passed the Ohio House of Representatives
12/15/11 - Sent to Governor
12/21/11 - Signed by Governor Kasich
3/22/12 - Law becomes effective

Casey’s Law provides a means of intervention with someone who is unable to recognize his or her needs for treatment due to their addiction.  Casey’s Law allows parents, relatives, and/or friends to petition the court for treatment on behalf of the person (over the age of 18) who is abusing alcohol and/or drugs (respondent).  The treatment options available under the law can vary depending on circumstances of each individual case, and can range from detoxification to intensive treatment through recovery.  The person seeking the involuntary treatment (petitioner) is obligated to pay all costs incurred in the process as well as all cost of treatment and must sign a guaranty of payment.  Costs incurred can be extensive, something the petitioner should be aware of before signing the guaranty of payment. 

               Under Casey’s law, a person suffering from drug or alcohol abuse will not be ordered to undergo involuntary treatment unless that person presents an imminent threat of danger to their self, family or others as a result of alcohol or drug abuse, or there exists a substantial likelihood of such a threat of danger in the near future. Additionally, It must also be determined that the respondent can reasonably benefit from the treatment ordered.

Summary of SB117
(Casey's Law Section)

Ohio Revised Code
Section 3793.31-3793.39


·         Allows a probate court to order involuntary treatment for a person suffering from alcohol or other drug abuse pursuant to certain specified procedures.

·         Permits a person to initiate proceedings for treatment for an individual suffering from alcohol and other drug abuse by filing a verified petition in the probate court and paying a filing fee, if any, that is charged for the filing of an affidavit seeking the hospitalization of a person.

·         Details what information the petition must contain.

·         Gives the probate court exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions for an order for treatment of a person suffering from alcohol and other drug abuse and to order treatment of that nature in accordance with, and take other actions afforded to the court under the law regarding involuntary treatment for a person suffering from alcohol and other drug abuse.

·         Requires the probate court, upon receipt of a petition and the payment of the appropriate filing fee, if any, to examine the petitioner under oath as to the contents of the petition and requires the court to take certain specified actions if, after reviewing the allegations contained in the petition and examining the petitioner under oath, it appears to the probate court that there is probable cause to believe the respondent should be ordered to undergo treatment, including scheduling and conducting a hearing to determine if there is probable cause to believe that the respondent should be ordered to undergo treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse.

·         Provides that if the probate court finds upon completion of the hearing that the respondent should be ordered to undergo treatment, the court must order the treatment after considering the qualified health professional's recommendations for treatment that have been submitted to the court.

·         Requires the court to order the treatment be provided through a certified alcohol and drug addiction program or by certain licensed individuals.

·         Provides that following an examination by a qualified health professional and a certification by that professional that the person meets the criteria for involuntary treatment, a probate court may order the person hospitalized for a period not to exceed 72 hours if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person presents an imminent threat of danger to self, family, or others as a result of alcohol and other drug abuse and provides that if the hearing to be held will be held within 72 hours, the court may order the person hospitalized until the hearing.

·         Requires the court to inform the person that the person may immediately make a reasonable number of telephone calls or use other reasonable means to contact an attorney, a licensed physician, or a qualified health professional, to contact any other person or persons to secure representation by counsel, or to obtain medical or psychological assistance and that the person will be provided assistance in making calls if the assistance is needed and requested.

·         Provides that any person who has been admitted to a hospital under the procedure described in the prior dot points must be released from the hospital immediately upon the expiration of the time period established by the court.

·         Provides that when a probate court is authorized to issue an order that the respondent be transported to a hospital, the court may issue a summons and if the respondent fails to attend an examination scheduled before the hearing, the court must issue a summons.

·         Requires that the summons be directed to the respondent and must command the respondent to appear at a time and place specified in the summons and provides that if a respondent fails to appear at the hospital or examination, the probate court may order the sheriff or any other peace officer to transport the respondent to a hospital from a list specified in the bill.

·         Requires each county board of alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services on at least an annual basis to submit lists of certain specified hospitals to the clerk of the probate court in each county served by the board.

·         Provides that the requirements regarding statistics collected by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services concerning the care, treatment, and rehabilitation of alcoholics, drug dependent persons, and persons in danger of drug dependence in Ohio, the laws regarding confidentiality of a patient's records or information pertaining to the identity, diagnosis, or treatment that are maintained in connection with the performance of certain specified drug treatment programs, and the law regarding the person's civil rights and liberties apply to a person who is ordered to undergo treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse.

 For a copy of the legislation, click below: