Extraordinary Writs

Published Date Written by Erik L. Smith






      In some situations, a person can assert their rights by filing a case directly in an Ohio Court of Appeals or the in Supreme Court of Ohio. Those situations include cases where a judge or public official has refused to exercise a clear legal duty the doing of which you have a right to; a court refuses to dismiss a case over which it has no authority to proceed with; a court unreasonably delays proceeding to judgment; a politician lacks a right to his office which affects your right to that office; a city or corporation’s charter is not being enforced properly; persons with no legal right to your children refuse to return your children to you; you have been jailed unlawfully. You can also ask the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court to dismiss a biased judge in your case.


            The relief those problems (excluding judge recusal) are called extraordinary writs because they are available only when the person has no recourse in the ordinary trial system, thus requiring a direct order from a higher court (writ). For example, you might be entitled to an extraordinary writ if: 


  • a court or agency withholds document or public records you are entitled to;
  • the police jail you without proper charge or trial;
  • your parents refuse to return your children to you;
  • a juvenile court takes non-emergency custody over your children without giving you notice;
  • the trial court erroneously stays your case or takes months to make ruling;
  • a court proceeds in adoption of your children while paternity or visitation issues are pending in another court;
  • your political opponent achieved office without following election or eligibility rules.


         Extraordinary writs are usually unsuccessful. The key to prevailing in them is to recognize when an extraordinary writ is called for and then knowing what to argue to convince the higher court to issue it. My first consideration in every case is whether the problem can be solved legitimately by an original action in a higher court. Usually, the answer is no. But that option should always be rejected before deciding to go to trial or to continue with a case in the ordinary way.


My experienced has included writing complaints, briefs, memoranda for original actions in the extraordinary writs of mandamus, prohibition, and procedendo. A possible indicator that you may need to seek an extraordinary writ is when you feel a court or public official/agency is jerking you around or doing or omitting something that leaves you feeling helpless to cure. As your attorney, I will analyze your case from the start to decide how to achieve your goals in the most direct and least expensive way. Usually, that will not be by extraordinary writ. But it might be.

The Ohio Putative Father Registry–the WHAT?

I am a single man. Yet I had been in Ohio for over a year before hearing of the Ohio Putative Father Registry, and then only in a Probate Law class. The professor was covering how a child could be adopted without the birth father's consent. "ORC 3701.061: A man who has sexual intercourse with a woman is on notice that if a child is born as a result and the man is the putative father, the child may be adopted without his consent pursuant to division (B) of section 3107 of the Revised Code." That section required the man sign the Putative Father Registry within thirty days after the birth to get notice of the adoption.


Ohio Putative Father Registry: The Basics

Unwed fathers are entitled to notice of petitions to adopt their biological children. Yet many fathers lose this right by not registering timely with the Ohio putative father registry (PFR).1R.C. 3107.062. Because adoptions are probate proceedings, lawyers practicing juvenile, domestic relations, or traditional probate law may not understand how the Ohio PFR applies.  At initial consultations then, attorneys may omit counseling fathers about the registry and refer them to attorneys with more specialized experience. But the strict registration deadline, and often unknown deadline date, demand that the father register immediately. Thus the attorney should consider counseling the client about the PFR and help him register that day before referring him. This article gives the information needed to do that.

Preventing Your Infant Child From Being Adopted Without Your Consent


Consult an adoption law or family law attorney. Otherwise: An unwed father has no absolute right to veto an adoption. You must take action to preserve your rights. Whether the mother is considering adoption or not, an unwed father should, as soon as possible and preferably before the birth:

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