Under various provisions of Florida statutes, the Probate and Guardianship Division will hear cases on mental health and substance abuse.
|MENTAL HEALTH/SUBSTANCE ABUSE
• Florida Statute Chapter 394 The Baker Act. The Baker Act includes a procedure for the involuntary evaluation and treatment of a mentally ill person who has refused voluntary treatment and evidences a present danger to himself/herself or other if the person remains untreated. A family member, spouse, friend or concerned citizen may bring the petition. The procedure also may begin with the report of a law enforcement officer or the certificate of a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist or clinical social worker. The petition may be filed by appearing at the Clerk’s Office Probate Services Unit.
• Florida Statute Chapter 397 The Marchman Act. The Marchman Act includes a procedure for the involuntary evaluation and treatment of a person who has a substance abuse problem, who has refused voluntary treatment and evidences a present danger to himself/herself or other if the person remains untreated. The person’s spouse, legal guardian, any relative, the head of and state treatment and research center, the Sheriff or and three (3) Florida citizens may bring the petition. The petition may be filed at the Dade County Courthouse, 73 West Flagler Street, 2nd floor, Clerk Mental Health Section, Room 234, Miami, FL.
• Determination of Incapacity – is a procedure before the court to determine whether an adult person is able to care for himself or his property. An examining committee composed of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a lay member and an attorney is appointed by the court to examine the individual. The court holds a hearing at which time a determination is made.
• Suggestion of Capacity – may be brought before the court when a person previously declared incapacitated desires to have their capacity restored. A psychiatrist is appointed by the court to evaluate the person and an attorney is appointed to represent the person. The court holds a hearing at which time a determination is made.
Frequently Asked Question for Mental Health (Baker Act)
What can I do if I believe a person is mentally ill and because of this illness, the person has refused voluntary examination after conscientious explanation and disclosure of the purpose of the examination, and is unable to determine for himself/herself whether the examination is necessary, and without care or treatment, said person is likely to suffer from neglect and such neglect poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to the person’s well being, or it is more likely than not that in the near future, the person may inflict serious, unjustified bodily harm on another person, as evidenced by recent behavior?
A petition must be made by visiting the Probate Services/Mental Health Unit at the Dade County Courthouse 73 W. Flagler Street, Room 234. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.. Petitioner must bring a valid photo identification with a signature. The staff will explain further what must be done.
Frequently Asked Question for Substance Abuse (Marchman Act)
What can I do if I am concerned about a substance abuse problem of a family member or friend?
It is helpful to contact the Mental Health Section of the Clerk of Court at room 234 on the 2nd Floor of the Dade County Courthouse. Their main number is 305-275-1155.
Frequently Asked Question for Adult Protective Services
What can I do if I am concerned about the abuse or exploitation of an adult?
It is helpful to contact the 24 hour hotline at 1-800-96abuse (962-2873). A counselor will ask certain questions to determine whether an investigation is warranted.