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:
- 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
- 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
- All less restrictive treatment alternatives are not appropriate
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.
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.
- What is a Baker Act proceeding?
- How are voluntary and involuntary Baker Act admissions different?
- How is an involuntary Baker Act proceeding initiated?
- What steps must be taken to obtain an ex parte order?
- What happens after the order is issued?
- How long may a person be held under an ex parte Baker Act order?
- Where can I find more information about the Baker Act?