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Marchman Act

The team at the office of Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A., has the experience needed to assist you with cases involving the Marchman Act. We can help, defending those who have been charged, as well as assisting those needing counsel on bringing a Marchman Act Order.

About The Florida Marchman Act

The Marchman Act, officially the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act, concerns the voluntary or involuntary admission of an individual into a treatment facility for issues pertaining to chemical dependence or substance abuse. Enshrined in Florida Statute 397, it allows family members, medical professionals and certain other individuals the right to petition for the mandatory assessment and treatment of those who are deemed to be incapacitated and unable to make rational decisions for themselves about drug or alcohol treatment.

How Does The Marchman Act Differ From The Baker Act?

The Marchman Act, while similar to the Baker Act in scope, differs in intent. While the Marchman Act is primarily intended for issues relating to chemical dependence or substance abuse, the Baker Act is geared more toward mental health issues. In addition, the Baker act only allows an individual to be held for evaluation for up to 72 hours if there is the risk of harm present, whereas the Marchman Act is used for an initial assessment and treatment between five and 60 days.

Voluntary And Involuntary Admission

A voluntary admission under the Marchman Act occurs when an individual who believes that they need help for a substance abuse or chemical dependence issue voluntarily applies to a service provider for treatment. A voluntary admission is for those who need treatment for an addiction, but lack the necessary funds to privately pay for such services.

The Marchman Act also includes provisions for the involuntary admission of an individual for treatment, provided it is determined that there is good reason to believe that, due to the individual’s substance abuse issues, they are impaired and have lost the ability of self-control and are at risk of harming themselves or others.

Who Can File A Marchman Act Petition?

An involuntary Marchman Act petition may be filed by any number of individuals. In emergency situations, a law enforcement official may implement protective custody measures against an individual. In addition, the following individuals may also file a petition:

  • The individual’s spouse or guardian
  • A private practitioner
  • A relative of the individual
  • The director of, or a director’s designee, of a licensed facility
  • Any three adults who have personal knowledge of the individual’s situation and impairment
  • In the case of a minor, the minor’s parent, legal custodian or guardian, or a licensed facility director may file a petition for involuntary admission.

How To File A Marchman Act Petition In Broward County

Those seeking to file a Petition for Assessment or Treatment for an individual in Broward County must go to the office of the Clerk of Courts and complete the forms in person. The petition will be reviewed by a circuit court judge, who will decide if the individual must comply with the petition for treatment. If the respondent fails to comply with a court order, they may be held in contempt of court and could face additional penalties.

Representing Addicts And Their Loved Ones

While the law does not require an attorney to file a Petition for Assessment or Treatment for a loved one, consulting with an experienced lawyer is strongly advised. An experienced lawyer will ensure your loved one receives the assessment and treatment they need. Of the 20 million Americans abusing drugs, only about 2 million are seeking and receiving treatment for their addiction.

The Marchman Act is an important tool in the war on drugs. It can help save the lives of those nearest and dearest to us. We have extensive experience representing both individuals who have been petitioned under the Marchman Act and concerned loved ones who have filed petitions on their behalf. If you need assistance with the Marchman Act, the office of Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A., is here to help. Call today or contact us for a free consultation.