CUYAHOGA PROBATE COURT

Probate Court News

May 22, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

Please see the updated Administrative Order issued by the Probate Court effective 5/25/2020.

Updated Administrative Order

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May 19, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

Please see the Order Regarding USPS Mail Delivery and Service due to the COVID-19 Continuity of Operations Update released by the United States Postal Service.

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May 4, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

The Probate Court would like to announce it has removed the requirement of exigent circumstances in order to obtain an online video marriage license. The issuance of in-person marriage licenses remains suspended. All satellite locations remain closed. Until further notice, all marriage licenses will be issued by online video call for applicants. In order to apply, applicants must establish that they have:

  • a wedding ceremony, scheduled in the next 30 days;
  • an officiant available to perform the wedding ceremony

These prerequisites must be verified by the applicants with proper documentation. If the prerequisites are met, couples can pre-register for a marriage license online via our website. The pre-registration will direct them to contact the Marriage Department to set up their online appointment.

Appointments will be scheduled Monday through Thursday, once per hour during the business day. Applicants must have:

  • a valid email address;
  • a computer, laptop, cell phone or tablet with a working video camera;
  • a functional printer with them at the time of the video call;
  • both applicants physically together and on the same call (not two separate calls);
  • all prior marriage/divorce information available at the time of the video call;
  • official government issued IDs present at the time of the video call;
  • a scanner or camera (can be cell phone) to make a digital copy of the marriage ceremony return certificate. These certificates may be E-Filed or sent back to the Probate Court Marriage Department by regular mail
  • a credit or debit card for payment.

This procedure has been implemented in order to issue marriage licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that any prior marriage license remains valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.

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April 16, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

The Cuyahoga County Probate Court continues to operate at a reduced staff. We are accepting paper filings by mail or courier drop-off, and by E-File. To speak to a Magistrate in the Court’s general Front Office, please call (216) 443-8979. To speak to a Magistrate regarding Guardianships, Emergency Guardianships, or Adoptions, please call (216) 443-8995. For questions regarding civil commitments, please call (216) 443-8123.

All filings on new and existing Adult Guardianship cases may be now be E-Filed. Also available to E-File are filings on existing Estate Administrations, Civil Adversarial cases, Name Changes and additional cases listed on the E-File web pages. As additional filings become available, they will be announced on this page and most will include guidelines to assist new users.

All case requirements (for Estates, Guardianships, Conservatorships, Trusts, etc.) due from March 9, 2020 have been tolled until the earlier of the two following dates: 1) the date Governor DeWine’s Declaration of Emergency order ends or 2) July 30, 2020. For example, if a deadline were set to expire on May 8, 2020 (60 days after the effective date of the order), the deadline will not expire until 60 days after this tolling order is lifted. If the tolling order is lifted July 30, 2020 the deadline would be extended until September 28, 2020. Requirements that are currently overdue as of March 8, 2020 cannot be extended and must be filed via E-File or regular mail. Please consult Governor DeWine’s Declaration of Emergency order and Chief Justice O’Connor’s tolling order for further guidance. We encourage any self-represented individual to consult with an attorney.

Extensions to case requirements include, but are not limited to, Accounts, Inventories, Guardian's Reports, Commissioner's Reports, Reports of Distribution, Certificates of Service, and Verifications of Receipt and Deposit. Many of these items are already available to E-File.

Most pre-trials can be conducted by phone or WebEx, the Court will be in communication with attorneys regarding scheduled hearings.

Effective immediately, the Probate Court is waiving the requirement for a fiduciary appearance at the hearing to approve the first (or first and final) settlement on all settlements that require Probate Court approval, both minor and adult, PROVIDED ALL CONSENTS ARE INCLUDED. If the Court has questions about the settlement, we may set it for a phone or video hearing. Hearings that had been continued over the last two weeks and have all the required documentation may be advanced and granted.

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April 14, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

Updating our previous notifications on March 24 and 26, 2020, the issuance of in-person marriage licenses has been suspended. All satellite locations are closed. Until further notice, marriage licenses will be issued by online video call for those applicants with an immediate need. In order to apply, applicants must establish that they have:

  1. an EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCE requiring an immediate marriage (i.e. 1st responder; health care professional; current member of the armed services; serious illness; or health insurance issues).
  2. a wedding ceremony scheduled in the next 30 days;
  3. an officiant available to perform the wedding ceremony; and

ALL of these prerequisites must be verified by the applicants with proper documentation. If all the prerequisites are met, couples can pre-register for a marriage license online via our website. The pre-registration will direct them to contact the Marriage Department to set up their online appointment.

Appointments will be scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays only, once per hour during the business day. Applicants must have:

  1. a valid email address;
  2. a computer, laptop, cell phone or tablet with a working video camera;
  3. a functional printer with them at the time of the video call;
  4. both applicants physically together and on the same call (not two separate calls);
  5. all prior marriage/divorce information available at the time of the video call;
  6. official government issued IDs present at the time of the video call;
  7. a scanner or camera (can be cell phone) to make a digital copy of the marriage ceremony return certificate. These certificates may be E-Filed or sent back to the Probate Court Marriage Department by regular mail; and
  8. a credit card for payment.

This procedure has been implemented in order to issue marriage licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic only. Once business operations resume, licenses will again be issued in-person and not remotely. Please note that any prior marriage license remains valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.

March 26, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

The Cuyahoga County Probate Court is operating at a reduced staff. We are accepting paper filings by mail or courier drop-off, and by E-File. To speak to a Magistrate in the Court’s general Front Office, please call (216) 443-8979. To speak to a Magistrate regarding Guardianships, Emergency Guardianships, or Adoptions, please call (216) 443-8995. For questions regarding civil commitments, please call (216) 443-8123.

As of this week, all filings on new and existing Adult Guardianship cases may be E-Filed. Also available to E-File are filings on existing Estate Administrations, Civil Adversarial cases, Name Changes and additional cases listed on the E-File web pages. As additional filings become available, they will be announced on this page and most will include guidelines to assist new users.

All case requirements (for Estates, Guardianships, Conservatorships, Trusts, etc.) due from March 16, 2020 until April 16, 2020 have been extended by 60 days. Any requirements due after April 16, 2020 are still due on their original date. Requirements that are currently overdue by 60 or more days cannot be extended and must be filed via E-File or regular mail. Please check the court web docket for updated due dates on individual cases.

Extensions to case requirements include, but are not limited to, Accounts, Inventories, Guardian's Reports, Commissioner's Reports, Reports of Distribution, Certificates of Service, and Verifications of Receipt and Deposit. Many of these items are already available to E-File.

Most pre-trials can be conducted by phone or WebEx, the Court will be in communication with attorneys regarding scheduled hearings.

Effective immediately, the Probate Court is waiving the requirement for a fiduciary appearance at the hearing to approve the first (or first and final) settlement, on all settlements that require Probate Court approval, both minor and adult, PROVIDED ALL CONSENTS ARE INCLUDED. If the Court has questions about the settlement, we may set it for a phone or video hearing. Hearings that had been continued over the last two weeks and have all the required documentation may be advanced and granted.

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March 24, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

Consistent with Governor DeWine's stay at home order issued on Sunday, the issuance of in-person marriage licenses is suspended for at least two weeks. Satellite locations are closed until further notice. Marriage Licenses will be issued by online video call for those applicants with an immediate need. In order to apply, applicants must establish that they have a wedding ceremony scheduled in the next 30 days, have an officiant available to perform the wedding ceremony, and that they have an exigent circumstance requiring an immediate marriage. These prerequisites will need to be verified by the applicants with proper documentation. If all of these prerequisites are met, couples can pre-register for a marriage license online via our website. The pre-registration will direct them to contact the Marriage Department to set up their online appointment.

Appointments will be scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays only, once per hour during the business day. Applicants must have a valid email address, printer and working video camera.

Marriage ceremony return certificates may be E-Filed or sent to the Probate Court Marriage Department by regular mail.

This procedure has been implemented in order to issue marriage licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic only. Once business operations resume as usual, licenses will again be issued in-person and not remotely. Please note that any prior marriage license remains valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.

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March 20, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

Restricted Access to Courthouse - Update

Beginning March 20, 2020, only the rear garage entrance to the Old Courthouse building will be open (North entrance of the building by the parking deck) for essential Court staff and individuals who have made prior arrangements by phone with Probate Court. Individuals will be subjected to a forehead temperature scan and a series of health-related questions prior to entering the building. Individuals who do not pass the health-screening review will be given information on how to contact the Court to provide alternative methods for providing Court services.

Case Requirement Extensions

All case requirements (for Estates, Guardianships, Conservatorships, Trusts, etc.) due from March 16, 2020 until April 16, 2020 have been extended by 60 days. Any requirements due after April 16, 2020 are still due on their original date. Requirements that are currently overdue by 60 or more days cannot be extended and must be filed via E-File or regular mail. Please check the court web docket for updated due dates on individual cases.

Extensions to case requirements include, but are not limited to, Accounts, Inventories, Guardian's Reports, Commissioner's Reports, Reports of Distribution, Certificates of Service, and Verifications of Receipt and Deposit. Many of these items are already available to E-File. Check the Court's E-File pages for updates and additional available filings.

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March 19, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

Online Video Call Marriage License Issuance:

Starting Monday, March 23, 2020, all couples who can establish they have a wedding ceremony scheduled within the next 30 days and can verify they have an officiant able to perform the marriage, can pre-register for a marriage license online via our website. The pre-registration will direct them to contact the Marriage Department to set up their online appointment. One appointment will be scheduled per hour per day, with some time slots reserved for those applicants with an immediate need. It is important to note, however, that to have the marriage license issued immediately, applicants must have a valid email address and access to a computer and printer.

This procedure has been implemented in order to issue marriage licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic only. Once business operations resume as usual, licenses will again be issued in-person and not remotely.

In an effort to assist parties who have already obtained a marriage license but are unable to conduct their marriage ceremony due to COVID-19, Cuyahoga County Probate Court is enacting the following procedure until May 19, 2020:

As a marriage license is only effective for 60 days from the date of issuance, if parties are unable to conduct their marriage ceremony due to COVID-19, Probate Court will permit parties one additional Marriage License free of cost if parties pre-register for a new Marriage License within ten business days from the day the original Marriage License expires. Parties must complete all mandatory steps to obtain the additional Marriage License. If the parties fail to pre-register within ten business days from the expiration of the original Marriage License, the parties must pay the $60.00 fee to obtain a new license. The Probate Court will not issue a refund for a marriage license for any reason.

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March 18, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

Please see the two links below for digital copies of the Administrative Orders issued by the Probate Court effective 3/16/2020.

Administrative Order 1

Administrative Order 2

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IMPORTANT UPDATE March 17, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

Effective immediately: Access to the Old Courthouse has been restricted by Public Works to the North entrance of the building by the parking deck. Patrons must go to the back of the Courthouse and take the elevator or stairs to the ground entrance of the Courthouse for access to the Probate Court. Certified copies available for urgent pick up will be available at the back door with the Sheriff's Department.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE March 16, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

Effective immediately:

All requirements coming due within the next 30 days will be extended an additional 60 days for filing. Already past due requirements cannot be extended.

Certified copies can be purchased through the mail with a money order or over the phone with a credit card. Certified copies of marriages can be requested over the phone by calling 216-443-8920 and pressing 0; all other certified copies can be requested over the phone by calling 216-443-8792.

All requests for certified copies of documents will be mailed to the individual requesting the documents. If you have an immediate need for certified copies, the certified copies will be left in a sealed envelope with the Sheriff’s Department at the front entrance of the Old Courthouse.

The Court accepts cash, money order, cashier’s check, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express credit or debit cards. There is a convenience fee to use a credit or debit card. When payment is made by check, separate checks are required for each case number. Please see the costs page for more information.

The marriage satellite locations are suspended until further notice.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE March 15, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

Effective immediately, all scheduled in-person hearings at the Probate Court are canceled. Hearings may be conducted by video or telephone conference, upon the discretion of the Judge or Magistrate assigned to the case. Access to the Probate Court is limited to essential staff only.

The Court remains open for Civil Commitments and Emergency Guardianships on a limited basis. For questions regarding Civil Commitments, please call 216-443-8123. For questions involving Emergency Guardianships, please call 216-443-8995.

All other in-person filings will not be accepted and patrons are asked to remain home until further notice is posted on the Court’s web page.

The Following Methods Will Be Permitted To File:

E-File
E-Filings are or will be available in the coming days as the Court transitions its workforce. Register for an E-File account and check the Court’s E-File pages for updated available filings and instruction. The E-File Help Desk will be available for assistance by phone at 216-443-8948 or by email at probate_efile@cuyahogacounty.us.

File by Mail
Filings may be sent by regular mail to the Clerk’s Office and will be reviewed as soon as possible. For filings with costs: please include a money order payable to the Probate Court of Cuyahoga County. Attorneys may pay using an attorney’s check. Do not send cash or personal checks. Mail to: Probate Court Clerk’s Office, Room 115A, 1 West Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.

All other questions may be answered via email at pccpc@cuyahogacounty.us or by calling 216-443-8785 or 216-443-8895.

New Marriage Licenses

As of 3/15/20, the Court is suspending the issuance of new marriage licenses until further notice.

As a reminder to patrons, licenses issued in the last week and prior are active for up to 60 days from the date of issuance.

Note: Special arrangements with the Court will be available for parties who believe they MUST obtain a marriage license due to exigent circumstances. Please contact the Marriage Department by phone 216-443-8921 if you believe you need a license issued immediately.

Marriage Certificate Returns

Marriage ceremony return certificates may be E-Filed. Either spouse, or the officiant of your ceremony, may sign-up for an E-File account and E-File the signed return as a PDF file using the guidelines provided on the E-File web pages. As usual, Returns may also be sent to the Probate Court Marriage Department by regular mail. Mail to: 1 West Lakeside Avenue, Room 129, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.

All other questions regarding Marriage Licenses, Corrections of Birth Records, and Delayed Registrations of Birth may be answered by calling 216-443-8920.

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March 13, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

With the health and safety of employees, clients and the general public of paramount importance, the four divisions of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court (General, Juvenile, Domestic Relations, Probate) are engaged in on-going collaboration and discussion regarding the COVID-19 public health crisis. The Governor has ordered all schools to close for the next three weeks and banned all “mass gatherings” in an effort to slow the progress of this highly contagious virus. This order reflects the protocols of infectious disease experts regarding “social isolation,” among other measures. Consistent with the Governor’s order and advice from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and other public health entities, essential operations of the courts will continue with limited staff. This will reduce the number of people in the Justice Center, Juvenile Justice Center, and the Old Courthouse. Limited operations will be maintained for the next three weeks, commencing Monday, March 16, 2020. In addition, staff and clients are advised to not bring children into the buildings during this public health crisis.

Important News regarding Probate Court cases and availability:

Existing Cases
All scheduled pre-trials have been converted to phone conferences. With the exception of new guardianship cases and adoptions, most hearings that are not strictly necessary have been continued 45-60 days. The Court has made every effort to contact parties on cases that have been continued. Please check our online docket for specific case information.

New Cases
Unless strictly necessary, new case filings will not be set for hearing until after June 1, 2020. Patrons are encouraged to set up an E-File account and E-File for any of the cases listed available. For your safety and convenience, filings are also accepted by mail at this time. Please direct mail-in filings to the Probate Court Clerk's Office, Room 115, 1 W. Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113. Please refer to the website for filing fees.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, we are suspending ALL patron access to the Magistrates and Judges’ offices. This measure includes routine procedural visits as well as Magistrate “walk-throughs” by non-represented patrons, attorneys, and other legal professionals. The Court appreciates your cooperation with these measures. Patrons may direct their questions to an available clerk who will contact those offices directly by phone to get the question answered. If the Magistrate deems it absolutely necessary, patrons may be directed to that Magistrate’s office.

Parties who appear at Court due to a scheduled hearing that has not been not been continued should indicate this to a clerk who can contact that hearing officer’s staff and direct them to their hearing location. Patrons requesting the assistance of a particular hearing officer to receive their documents will be assisted by a clerk who will put a note to direct items to that Magistrate. This procedure is in accordance with all local Courts to limit exposure and is in line with our policy of continuing hearings that are not strictly necessary.

Corrections and Registrations of Birth continue to be available to file by E-File. Those that are filed in person in the Marriage department will be subject to review and wait times may be longer than usual. Patrons can also expect these particular filings will be set for hearing at a later date. Unless the Magistrate expressly requests it, patrons will not be directed to a Magistrate’s office. Every effort will be made by Court staff to accommodate patrons during this unique and challenging time.

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March 12, 2020

Probate Court COVID-19 Information

The Courts have been closely following media reports on the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, and the expectations of health officials in combatting the spreading of this virus. According to the CDC, for most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. Local health experts caution that we are currently in the midst of the flu season, so the spread of flu remains a health concern as well. As we track this evolving situation related to COVID-19, we are preparing to take any measures necessary to keep our staff and the public safe.

We will continue to monitor reports from federal, state and local health experts as this situation continues to unfold. In an effort to stay ahead of this issue, we will be meeting with the County’s Board of Health to discuss the steps that we should take to minimize the risk of spreading infectious diseases throughout the Courthouses.​

The County Board of Health recommends the following precautions be practiced by everyone in our community to minimize the spread of respiratory illness:​

  • If you have the flu, talk to your doctor about antiviral medications that can reduce flu severity;​
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially:​
    • after using the restroom;​
    • before eating;​
    • after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;​
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a sleeve or tissue when sneezing or coughing, or sneeze into your elbow;​
  • Have hand sanitizer available with at least 60% alcohol and use frequently;​
  • Keep surfaces cleaned with an alcohol-based cleaning product;​
  • Stay home if you are ill;​
  • Stay alert for changing conditions announced by the Courts.​

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should only be worn by people who show symptoms of COVID- 19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. It is important to preserve masks for hospital care and EMS transport personnel. More information can be found at the CDC website.​

According to health experts, most COVID-19 patients may experience flu-like symptoms, including a fever that can be treated at home with ibuprofen, drinking plenty of fluids, and rest. If symptoms arise, consider using any available telemedicine options with your medical provider to prevent the spread of illness to others. However, the County Board of Health recommends you visit a doctor, urgent care, or emergency department if you are sick—do not take chances.

The Courts remain open for business as usual. If there are any changes to the Courts’ schedules, notices will be posted to our websites.

Probate Court attorneys and patrons are encouraged to sign-up for and use an E-File account from our E-File home page or using this link. The Probate Court E-File home page includes important information for registration and available filings, guidelines, and updates.

Marriage licenses are valid for 60 days from the date of issuance. The Probate Court has no plans to close in the immediate future but in light of the rapidly evolving public health recommendations, Applicants may wish to consider applying online and coming in to obtain their marriage licenses in advance of their ceremony date.

Anyone with a scheduled hearing or business with the Court experiencing flu-like symptoms should contact the Court prior to appearing to see if such appearance can be waived or rescheduled. Continuances will be liberally granted, and requests to appear telephonically will be approved to the extent possible.

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January 29, 2020

News 5 Cleveland on the Guardian Partners program

Link to the full article can be found on the News 5 Cleveland website.

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January 21, 2020

CANCELLED

Probate Court Advice Clinic - Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Please see the attached for the public and attorneys(CLE credit).

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October 17, 2019

Probate Court Advice Clinic - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Please see the attached flyer with information about a Probate Advice Clinic for the public.

Please see the attached flyer with information about a Probate Advice Clinic for attorneys(CLE credit).

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August 19, 2019

The Cuyahoga County Probate Court is pleased to announce that Applications for Pay or Deliver Minor and Adult Estates and Reports of Distribution on Minor and Adult Claims are now available to E-File on Guardianship cases.

For step-by-step guides, related forms, and additional information about using the Probate Court’s Gateway System, please see the Electronic Filing home page.

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April 15, 2019

The Cuyahoga County Probate Court is pleased to announce that Notices of Claims and Fiduciary’s Applications for Allowance of Claims are now available to E-File on Estate cases.

For step-by-step guides, related forms, and additional information about using the Probate Court’s Gateway System, please see the Electronic Filing home page.

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July 12, 2019

Probate Court Advice Clinic - Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Please see the attached flyer with information about a Probate Advice Clinic for the public and attorneys(CLE credit).

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January 30, 2019

Due to the continuation of the severe cold weather, the Cuyahoga County Probate Court will be operating at a reduced staff on Thursday January 31, 2019. All hearings have been cancelled in order to protect the public from the severe cold. Should the County Executive close the Old Courthouse building, the Court would be required to close as well. Further updates will be provided.

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January 29, 2019

The Cuyahoga County Probate Court will be operating at a reduced staff on Wednesday January 30, 2019. All hearings have been cancelled in order to protect the public from the severe cold. Should the County Executive close the Old Courthouse building, the Court would be required to close as well. Further updates will be provided.

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January 25, 2019

Probate Court Resource Center

The Cuyahoga County Probate Court is pleased to announce the opening of its Resource Center for self-represented parties. The purpose of this service is not to offer legal advice. The Resource Center is available to assist you with questions about a simple estate, guardianship or name change. This includes the general review of all probate forms and procedures. Complicated estates or guardianships, drafting a will, trusts, adoption proceedings or any contested matter cannot be handled by the Resource Center; a referral would be made to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association to obtain the name of a probate attorney.

Commencing February 12, 2019, the Resource Center will be staffed by a licensed attorney and open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A one-half hour appointment may be scheduled by calling (216) 443-8769; the last appointment is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. You may also walk-in during designated office hours. All parties are limited to ONE VISIT per case.

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Please see the Court News Archive for older Court News.

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