Baker Act

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, either on a voluntary or involuntary basis.

Voluntary Baker Act Admission

A voluntary Baker Act admission occurs when a person 18 years of age or older, or a parent of a minor, applies for admission to a facility for observation, diagnosis, and treatment.

Involuntary Baker Act Admission

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 is 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 alternatives are not appropriate

Petitions

Baker Act and Marchman Act petitions will be accepted and processed at the Clerk's Probate/Mental Health office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Forms

Note: The forms supplied by the Clerk's office are general in nature and may not meet your specific needs. The Clerk does not guarantee the legal sufficiency of these forms; therefore, you may need to consult with an attorney regarding your particular situation.