The Florida Marchman Act: Obtaining Court-Ordered Treatment for Addiction or Alcoholism Drug Rehab Options

The information provided by is not a substitute for professional treatment, legal or medical advice. All calls and form submissions are handled solely and directly by Seacrest Recovery Center, a Licensed Florida Substance Abuse Treatment Program. No kickback, referral, brokering fee or similar is provided between the the owner of this website or the treatment provider. The licensed eco sober house complaints treatment provider is obligated to provide information about the Marchman Act and guide anyone who inquires to the proper level of help that is needed or desired for their particular situation. There is no incentive for anyone to utilize any specific treatment provider. Rather it is a health matter that should be fully researched in order to make the best possible decision for one’s own situation.

With an ex-parte petition, you would file and wait for the court to evaluate its legal sufficiency. If the judge determines the petition is sufficient, the respondent is then informed of the upcoming hearing. T hey also get the chance to contest the allegations you have made in the petition. This is a good option if you expect hostility from the respondent, as it reduces the time you spend together in court. The rates of co-morbidity are even higher for those with serious mental illness, or conditions where a mental disorder is serious enough that it affects a person’s ability to live their life. About one in four people who have this type of mental illness also have a condition involving substance abuse.

Voluntarily agreeing to assessment and/or treatment will also prevent a Marchman Act judgment, because a refusal to seek necessary treatment is a requirement of the act. Any failure of the petitioner to meet filing deadlines or requirements can be grounds for dismissing their legal petition against you. There may be a need for treatment, but no funds available to pay for extended care. However, the police may be called to pick up the client and return them to the treatment facility. The court will appoint an attorney to defend the respondent at no charge if they cannot afford one.

What Happens After a Petition is Filed?

The form requests similar information as the initial petition you filed. Again, you will need to schedule a hearing and find a certified process server. You, other petitioners, and the respondent must be present for the hearing. An involuntary examination does not guarantee the person will be required to undergo long term treatment.

Ensure within available resources a full continuum of substance abuse services based on projected identified needs, delivered without discrimination and with adequate provision for specialized needs. You probably cannot understand why this person can’t admit to the problem and just use willpower to stop their substance abuse. But there is a reason…pure force of will, alone, cannot solve this problem.

  • This decision would be influenced by the recommendation of the treatment team at the treating facility, as well as other professional opinions.
  • The respondent will be appointed legal counsel to represent their interests if they cannot afford one.
  • In the State of Florida, the Marchman Act is a statute that can help you get emergency care for someone battling addiction.
  • The definition of mental illness specifically excludes intoxication and substance abuse impairment as that is covered specifically under the Marchman Act.
  • It is a Florida Law that, in part, allows for family members to petition the courts to mandate an assessment or treatment of another’s substance abuse health issues.

Before turning to the Marchman Act, you should consult with an interventionist. An intervention is more serious than a one-on-one conversation and may be able to convince the person of how important it is to get treatment, but it is not as intense as invoking the Marchman Act. Even with involuntary commitment to treatment, the client will not be in a locked facility. If the client chooses to leave treatment before discharge, he or she may do so, but is then technically in contempt of a court order and could face jail time. Whether or not a jail sentence is imposed in these cases often varies from county to county.

Potential Pitfalls of the Florida Marchman Act

Moreover, we know the most dangerous circumstances surrounding ongoing substance use disorders, the courts and judges who might be part of your case, and the treatment facilities where your loved one can get care. We use our experience to help you fight for your loved one’s life. In certain circumstances, a person may not have friends or family who are close enough to them to petition for involuntary commitment, and thus the job turns to individuals such as their employer, their physician, or their teacher. The court also allows emergency petitions to be filed by a therapist or law enforcement officer if the situation warrants it. If your petition is accepted, you will need to file aChapter 397 Petition for Involuntary Treatment.

how to fight a marchman act

Then the attorney will use an electronic filing system to submit the petition to the clerk of court. If the situation is not deemed to meet the criteria for an Ex Parte order, the judge may opt to deny the petition or to set a hearing to take place within 10 days. If a hearing is set, the petitioner will be notified by mail and a summons will be issued for the respondent. It should be noted that a judge may find that an individual’s refusal to seek treatment may not constitute an inability to make a rational decision regarding such treatment. The respondent will be appointed legal counsel to represent their interests if they cannot afford one.

After the petition is filed, there will be a hearing within ten days. The petitioner receives notice of the hearing by mail and the patient is served notice by the sheriff. From there the court can order for involuntary assessment at a treatment center for up to five days to evaluate and stabilize the patient. A second petition may be filed once the initial written assessment is reviewed by the court to order involuntary treatment for up to 60 days. For the family and patient battling addiction to drugs or alcohol, the Marchman Act can be a lifesaver.

Contempt of court is a crime which can be punishable with fines or jail time. The treatment programs in your area may not be equipped to help with Co-occurring disorders such as eating disorders or major mental illness. The Marchman Act sounds great in theory but if your thinking about filing petitions for a loved one please read this list of warnings first.

We update the information on this website periodically, but the information on this site should not be used as legal advice for your personal problem. You should not rely on this information when making decisions about your case. If you are charged with a crime or being investigated for a crime, it is important to talk with a criminal defense attorney directly about the particular facts and circumstances of your case. The State Attorney’s Office is not involved in a Chapter 397 Marchman Act proceeding because it is a private civil involuntary commitment action filed by a private petitioner. May be filed requesting an order for involuntary treatment for up to 60 days. The client may be held in contempt of court for violating the court order by leaving the facility early or failing to abstain from drugs or alcohol.

The Marchman Act can be applied to anyone currently in Florida, regardless of their residency status. However, you do need an address where the person can be found, so they can be served and potentially picked up for delivery to treatment. Both parties are allowed to have legal counsel if they so choose. The respondent can have his or her own attorney or will be assigned a court-appointed lawyer. When you choose Recovery First Treatment Center, your care is front and center.

Baker Act: Involuntary Admission

From medically supervised detox to residential treatment and aftercare, Recovery First can cover your continuum of care from start to finish. Located in sunny Hollywood, Florida, just a walk away from the beach, Recovery First is the tranquil setting you’ll want for your treatment. Standard outpatient therapy provides a limited number of therapy hours per week. Outpatient therapy can keep you grounded in your goals and connected to sober supports as you progress in your recovery. Order issued for the person struggling with addiction to be picked up and assessed. As well as rehab services for other substances, help save the identities of people who are struggling.

Luckily, there is a solution, but the family must be perseverant. Our treatment center offers a partial hospitalization program , sometimes called “day treatment,” to patients who need a good deal of support but still wish to live at home. All AAC facilities provide the highest-quality care for co-occurring disorders, such as addiction and depression. We charge sober houses in boston a flat fee, so families know upfront the cost of our services, and we offer a free and thorough initial consultation. For families without the ability to pay for treatment, we can explore state-funded treatment options at county-subsidized facilities. Most people without an attorney just end up consenting to involuntary treatment without a hearing.

how to fight a marchman act

You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Website or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Older Lundy Koch & Martino and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney. They completed treatment but didn’t follow up with aftercare recommendations and went back to their substance abuse. I can help you maneuver through the process so the person you care about can be free of substance abuse. You want to help someone in your life who has a substance abuse problem and are considering using the Marchman Act to get that person into treatment.

You should not rely on the information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health care professional because of something you may have read in this publication. The Sober World LLC and its publisher do not recommend nor endorse any advertisers in this magazine and accepts no responsibility for services advertised herein.

It can be filed by a spouse, guardian, a relative, a private practitioner, a service provider, OR any 3 adults with knowledge of the person. Another intent of the Marchman Act – more related to criminal defense – is to provide substance abuse impaided adults and juvenile criminal offenders an alternate path outside of criminal imprisonment. It is possible for people to be treated at specific treatment programs or facilities for substance abuse rather than serving a jail or prison sentence. You need a lawyer who can see the whole picture and understand the addict’s mentality, even to the extent these issues exceed the scope of legal proceedings. I understand from a legal, professional, and personal perspective how substance abuse can destroy a person, bring unimaginable pain to their family and friends, and leave a wake of emotional, financial, and legal wreckage.

Should I File for a Florida Marchman Act Order for My Loved One?

This is when a Marchman Act Attorney may be the best person to help. Someone can seek treatment for substance abuse either voluntarily or involuntarily. The Marchman Act encourages people to seek out treatment voluntarily and to be actively involved in planning their own services with help from qualified professionals. Denial of addiction, however, is a common symptom which can raise barriers for someone’s early intervention and treatment. Florida introduced a statute in 1993 called the Marchman Act to provide emergency intervention and assistance for individuals who suffer from chemical dependencies. This statute allows loved ones to file a petition so that an individual with addiction may receive court-ordered assessment, stabilization, and treatment.

From the outset, we make it our priority to get to know you and your family on a personal level. It is critical that we learn all about your loved one’s life – and the stages of progression through the illness as well as what it looks like now. Robinson & Casey has the experience and resources needed to successfully manage your case. We focus on our clients and on their unique situations to achieve successful outcomes. If you are interested in learning more about your legal rights and options for your loved one’s behavioral health crisis, call immediately for a free consultation. We help walk you through all the crucial steps necessary to ensure you are fully understanding what can be done to get your loved one into treatment today.

The least expensive option for the filing is to get the required packet at the Clerk of Court’s office and do it yourself. Keep in mind though, that any mistakes or missing details in the petition can cost you precious time. So, if you choose to do the petition yourself take the time to do it right. It is not required by law to work with an attorney when filing a Marchman Act petition.

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