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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Concerned Friend

Under a Florida law called the Baker Act, you may petition the court to require your friend/acquaintance to undergo an involuntary mental health psychiatric examination at a local crisis facility.

If the Judge signs the Order for Involuntary Examination, the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts will provide you with a sealed envelope that contains the Order for Involuntary Examination. You must give the sealed envelope to a law enforcement officer. Once the law enforcement officer reviews the Order for Involuntary Examination, the law enforcement officer will go to pick up your friend/acquaintance and take him or her to a local crisis facility.

Yes. Any person with personal knowledge of your friend/acquaintance’s behavior and mental illness may file a Baker Act Petition.

A healthcare provider can also file a Baker Act Petition asking the court to force his or her patient to undergo an involuntary mental examination, also known as an involuntary assessment. The service provider must have personal knowledge of the patient’s mental illness.

Your friend/acquaintance must reside in Miami-Dade County and cannot be in jail or in the hospital.

You must know your friend/acquaintance’s address, date of birth, age, height and weight.

You must have personal knowledge of your friend/acquaintance’s behavior.

You must believe that your friend/acquaintance is mentally ill and because of his or her mental illness, your friend/acquaintance has refused voluntary examination or is unable to determine whether an examination is necessary.

AND

Your friend/acquaintance is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself/herself.

OR

There is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment, your friend/acquaintance will cause seriously bodily harm to himself/herself or others in the near future.

You must complete the Baker Act Intake Form prior to filing the Baker Act Petition. The form can be downloaded

At the Mental Health Clerk’s Office, you will complete the Baker Act Petition. The petition must be based on sworn testimony.

You must bring a valid government-issued photo identification card to the Mental Health Clerk’s Office when you complete the Baker Act Petition.

You must go to the Mental Health Clerk’s Office of the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts, located at 73 West Flagler Street, Room 234.

Between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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