Mental Health

Baker and Hal Marchman Act Information



The Probate Division is also responsible for administering the law in numerous areas of mental health.

  • The Mental Health Department provides what general services?
  1. Assist in filing pleadings related to mental health
  2. Provide information to general public, attorneys and other agencies on general court procedures
  3. Copy, certify, and conform copies of court orders and documents
  4. Assists the general public and governmental agencies in researching records through the use of computers and microfilm
  • How does the Mental Health Department help the public?
  1. Filing Baker and Marchman Act petitions
  2. Copying and certifying various legal documents from files upon request
  3. Providing information to the general public by searching files and film
  4. Filing Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian
  5. Filing Petitions for return of personal property
  • How does the Mental Health Department help hospitals?
  1. Filing Involuntary Placement Petitions
  2. Issuing Subpoenas and Notice of Hearings
  3. Setting hearing dates
  4. Accept Writ of Habeas Corpus being filed
  • How does the Mental Health Department help HRS?
  1. Filing various petitions related to mental health
  2. Scheduling court hearings
  3. Issuing Subpoenas and Notices of Hearing
  • How does the Mental Health Department help Attorney’s?
  1. Filing various petitions related to mental health
  2. Setting hearing dates
  3. Issuing Subpoenas and Notices of Hearings
  4. Screening court files and documents and pleadings to determine that all necessary procedural steps have been taken prior to presentation to the court for hearings and execution of orders
  • What forms are provided by the Mental Heath Department of the Clerk’s Office?
  1. Petition for Involuntary Examination on ExParte Order/Information Sheet for ExParte Involuntary Examination
  2. Petition for Involuntary Examination and Stabilization (Substance Abuse)/Information Sheet for Substance Abuse
  3. Petition for Involuntary Treatment for Substance Abuse Impaired person
  • What are some of the petitions that are filed in the Mental Health Department?                                                 

1. Petition for Involuntary Examination on ExParte (Baker Act) – F.S. 394.463
This petition can be filed by a person(s) who has first hand knowledge of the situation. The purpose of this petition is to initiate the Baker Act procedure for emergency pickup and evaluation for persons who are mentally ill and refuse to seek treatment and are in a danger to themselves and/or others.

2. Writ of Habeas Corpus – F.S. 394.459
This petition is filed by a person detained in a hospital, their relative, friend, guardian, representative, or attorney on their behalf. A writ is filed when a person detained in a receiving or treatment facility alleges that they are being unjustly denied a right or privilege. This petition requires immediate attention upon receipt by the court.

3. Involuntary Placement and Placement Certificate – F.S. 394.467
This petition is filed by an administrator or designee of a designated Baker Act facility. The petition is filed when a person is determined to be a danger to themselves or others, and are in need of hospitalization.

4. Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization (Marchman Act) – F.S. 397
The purpose of this petition is to obtain a court order for substance abuse treatment when the respondent has refused to voluntarily receive care. The petition may be filed by one family member or three (3) citizens of Florida.

5. Adult Protective Services – F.S. 415
These petitions are filed by the Department of Children and Family when the department has reason to believe a disabled or elderly adult is being abused, neglected, self-neglect or exploited and the person lacks the capacity to consent to service being provided. A court order allows the department to provide services.

6. Determination of Incapacity – F.S. 744.3201
These petitions are filed when a person is alleged to be incapacitated mentally and/or physically. The purpose of the petition is to have the person evaluated and a determination made as to whether the alleged incapacitated person is capable of retaining all of or certain legal rights. This petition must be filed in conjunction with a Petition for Guardianship.

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