In very limited situations, the Ohio courts will award emergency custody of minor children. Emergency custody allows a parent to obtain full parental rights temporarily until the courts can schedule a full hearing. As its name implies, a temporary emergency custody order is available only in emergency situations.
According to statute 3127.18 of Ohio Laws and Rules, there are two circumstances in which the Ohio courts might award temporary emergency custody. The first is if the child has been abandoned. The second is if the child, a parent or a sibling of the child is the target or possible target of mistreatment or abuse.
To obtain emergency custody of a child, a parent must first file a motion for emergency custody with the clerk of court. The form will require the parent to include detailed information regarding the purported imminent threat to the child in the existing custody situation. The form will also leave a space for the parent to identify any witnesses to the circumstances surrounding the abuse, which could help back the claimant’s assertions.
Once the parent fills out the form, he or she must take it to a notary public and sign it before the official. The notary public will administer an oath to ascertain that the allegations the parent made are true and correct to the best of his or her knowledge.
After the parent signs the document before the notary public, he or she must then mail it or deliver it by person to the parent whom the order is against. The purpose of this is to ensure the other parent has ample notice that the courts may remove the child from his or her custody. After delivering the motion to the parent named in the motion, the claimant must then deliver a copy to the duty judge, who will hear the claimant’s case. Provided the judge believes an emergency exists, he or she will issue an appropriate order both granting emergency custody of the child and directing law enforcement to recover the child from the other parent. The judge will then schedule a hearing within a couple of days of the meeting.