The guardian filed a small claim and had the ward sign rather than the guardian for the ward. Is that appropriate?
Estate Planning Attorney
The adjudicated incompetent cannot initiate legal proceedings in his own name, but the rules of civil procedure allow for liberal amendment of pleadings to correct mistakes, and I can't imagine any small claims magistrate would deny amendment of the complaint, permitting the guardian to sign. It is a technicality, and the defendant, who would have notice of the allegations, would not be prejudiced. If the case were dismissed, it would take only a matter of minutes to re-file the complaint with the proper signature.
If you are the defendant, you may be able to use this to create delay, but it will not result in a final disposition of the claim in your favor.
Mr. Huddleston is an Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Columbus and Dayton, serving client families throughout Ohio. He may be contacted directly by phone toll-free at 888.488.7878 or by email CLH@HUDDLAW.COM. Mr. Huddleston responds to Avvo questions as a public service to help educate and provide general guidance to questioners, but his responses are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship.