Marchman Act

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

The courts have jurisdiction of involuntary assessment, stabilization petitions, and involuntary treatment petitions for substance abuse impaired persons. All substance abuse cases in Escambia County are initiated through the Baptist Hospital Lakeview Center located at:
1221 W Lakeview Avenue
Pensacola, FL 32501

Marchman Act - Involuntary Assessment - Florida Statute 397.6811

A Petition for Involuntary Assessment may be filed when there is good faith reason to believe an individual is substance-abuse impaired and because of that impairment, has lost the power of self-control with respect to substance use. The Petition is filed with the Clerk of Court and must be set for hearing within 10 days. Notice of hearing is provided by mail to the petitioners. The patient is served notice of hearing by the Sheriff. A General Master presides at the hearing. After hearing all relevant testimony, the court may enter an Order for Involuntary Assessment. 

Unless arrangements have been made for assessment at a private facility, the court order shall direct the Sheriff's Office to take the patient into custody and deliver him/her to a public facility licensed by the Department of Children and Families. The facility will assess and stabilize the patient for a period not to exceed 5 days. A written assessment is sent to the court. Once the written assessment is received, the court may proceed with the Petition For Involuntary Treatment.

Marchman Act - Involuntary Treatment - Florida Statute 397.693

A Petition for Involuntary treatment may be filed once the written assessment is reviewed by the court and the recommendation is involuntary treatment. Notice of hearing is provided by mail to the petitioners and any attorney on record. The patient is once again served notice of hearing by a plainclothes Deputy Sheriff. A general master presides at the hearing and after taking all relevant testimony, the court may enter an order for involuntary treatment for a period not to exceed 60 days. It may also direct the Sheriff to take the patient into custody and delivery him to the licensed facility.


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.

Form Disclaimer

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.