Ottawa County Juvenile and Probate Court Mission Statement

The mission of the Ottawa County Probate and Juvenile Court is to provide efficient, fair, and quality services to the people of Ottawa County. We are committed to protect the rights and safety of our citizens, to work cooperatively with all community resources, and to improve the lives of children and families.

General Orders for the Continued Operation of the Court

In order to minimize the effects of the ongoing coronavirus emergency, the Ottawa County Probate and Juvenile Court issues the following General Orders:

  • The Local Rules of the Court may be temporarily adapted to allow court flexibility as necessary.
  • The Court authorizes the use of audio-visual devices and technologies for all actions and proceedings.
  • The public health emergency may be considered a finding of “just cause” for continuances deemed necessary by the judge and/or the magistrates on a case-by-case basis.
  • The judge and/or magistrates may serve orders by email notification and use video and telephone conferencing.
  • Any proceedings conducted electronically where a record is desired or necessary, the Court and parties may jointly craft a statement in lieu of a transcript of the proceedings in accordance with the appellate rules.
  • All filings will be accepted by U. S. Mail, Fax and Email. Filing fees paid by check can be mailed, or fees can be paid electronically through the nCourt payment system  (See “Pay Online” button on the Juvenile and Probate websites).

Juvenile Court Fax:     (419) 734-6851       Probate Court Fax:      (419) 732-8147

To e-mail Juvenile filings:

  • Email rwahlers@co.ottawa.oh.us – AND – “cc” the following: kkroeger@co.ottawa.oh.us and gshenkel@co.ottawa.oh.us

To e-mail Probate filings:

Email jsimpson@co.ottawa.oh.us – AND – “cc” the following: ldelpercio@co.ottawa.oh.us and awells@co.ottawa.oh.us

  • All hearings, pretrial conferences, status conferences, review hearings, and other court proceedings shall be conducted by telephone.   Assignment notices with procedural instructions will be provided to the parties and necessary participants.

All until further order of the Court.



Statement from Judge Giesler about Parenting Time during the COVID-19 Crisis

Parents who have shared parenting plans or custody orders should continue to follow those orders to the best of their ability and in the spirit intended.  Parties should adhere to all holiday and spring break schedules as designated by their schools at the beginning of the school year regardless of recent changes. They should follow the regular parenting schedule during all other times unless their orders specifically address school closures.  The parties should also communicate about the location, health, and welfare of the children each day, and should discuss travel plans and arrangements as required by their parenting plans or custody orders.

In The News

Ottawa County program gives imperfect parents HOPEPort Clinton, March 19, 2019 – Parents dealing with alcohol or drug addiction who have lost custody of their children in Ottawa County due to abuse or neglect haven’t necessarily reached a dead end. They have on their side an unlikely ally: The judge who has the power to determine custody. Ottawa County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Giesler looks beyond the parents’ problems, sees their potential, and offers to help walk them to the other side of addiction … [ full article ]