Perhaps no topic in Ohio appellate practice is more confusing than determining what constitutes a final, appealable order in a special proceeding. ... The ability of a litigant to obtain immediate review of a trial court order may hinge on an appellate court resolving the difficult question of whether the proceeding from which the order emanated constituted a special proceeding under Ohio law.

The Supreme Court of Ohio, recognizing the difficulty in determining finality in a special proceeding has, like the appellate courts, struggled to articulate clearer guidelines and a more precise standard for resolving the question. The supreme court's most recent attempt to provide guidance in this area is Polikoff v. Adam. However, rather than laying a foundation for clearer guidelines leading to a more consistent jurisprudence, the Polikoff decision further confuses the question of what is a special proceeding, forecloses examination of some types of orders requiring immediate appellate review because of their effect, and elevates the form of the underlying action over the substantive rights of the litigants affected by a trial court order.