Mental Health

Chapter 397 of the Florida Statues is known as the "Hal S, Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993". It provides for the involuntary of voluntary assessment and stabilization of a person allegedly abusing substances like drugs or alcohol and provides for treatment of substance abuse.

An involuntary Baker Act admission occurs upon a finding by a court that:

(1) a person is mentally ill and, because of the mental illness, he/she has refused voluntary placement for treatment or is unable to determine whether placement in necessary.

(2) he/she is incapable of living alone or with help, and without treatment is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for him/herself, or there is a substantial likelihood in the near future that he/she will inflict serious bodily harm on him/herself/others as evidenced by recent behavior.

(3) all less restrictive treatment alternative are not appropriate.

The petition may be filed by the person's spouse, guardian, any relative, a private practitioner, the director of a licensed service provider or designee, or any person with personal knowledge of the person. For a minor, the petition may be filed by a parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, or licensed service provider. The petitioner must have recently observed the behavior of the person who is subject of the petition.

You will need to bring picture identification and an address/location fo the person. You should arrive at the Clerk's Office prior to 4:00 p.m. to allow time for the processing of the paperwork. The Clerk's Office closes at 5:00 p.m.

The Marchman Act can be found in Chapter 397 of the Florida Statutes. Visit our website and find the link to the statutes online.

Chapter 394 of the Florida Statutes is known as "The Baker Act" and as "The Florida Mental Health Act". A Baker Act proceeding is a means of providing an individual with emergency services and temporary detention for mental health evaluation and treatment, on an involuntary basis.