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Posted by: C. Nichols on Jun 8, 2020

June 8, 2020

[Cite as 06/08/2020 Administrative Actions, 2020-Ohio-3226.]

In re Notary Requirements for Domestic-Relations, Juvenile, General, and
Probate Forms

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the Governor of Ohio issued Executive Order
2020-01D and declared a state of emergency in Ohio in response to COVID-19;

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization publicly
characterized COVID-19 as a global “pandemic” requiring “urgent and aggressive
action” to control the spread of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared
a National Emergency;

WHEREAS, certain domestic-relations, juvenile, general, and probate forms
promulgated by the Court include a notarization requirement;

WHEREAS, several domestic-relations, juvenile, general, and probate
matters are widely acknowledged as “matters requiring immediate attention” under
the Court’s May 15, 2020, Nunc Pro Tunc Order;

WHEREAS, social distancing must be observed during the emergency period
in to mitigate the spread of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, social distancing impedes the ability to have these forms
notarized in person;

WHEREAS, online notarization may not be readily known or available, may
be costly for indigent litigants, and requires access to the internet;

WHEREAS, it is imperative to maintain access to the courts during the
emergency period while ensuring confidence in the veracity of filings with the court;

NOW THEREFORE, the Court hereby orders the following:

(A) This order shall apply retroactively to the date of the emergency
declared by Executive Order 2020-01D and shall remain in effect until further order
of the Court.

(B) The domestic-relations, juvenile, general, and probate forms available
on the court’s website may be used by courts and parties in lieu of the similar
versions of the forms requiring notarization in the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure,
the Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure, and the Rules of Superintendence for the
Courts of Ohio.

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