Marchman Act

A Marchman Act is a means of providing individuals with services at a facility for substance abuse when required.

Involuntary Assessment & Stabilization

For information about involuntary admission to a facility for substance abuse (not to exceed five days), view Chapter 397, Florida Statutes.

Criteria to File a Marchman Act Petition

A person determined by the Court who meets the criteria for involuntary assessment and stabilization may be admitted to a facility for up to five days. 

A petition may be filed on an adult person by:

  • Any relative
  • An adult who has personal knowledge of a person’s substance abuse impairment
  • The director of a licensed service provider or the director's designee
  • The person’s spouse or legal guardian
  • A private practitioner

A petition may be filed on a minor by:

  • A parent or legal guardian
  • A legal custodian
  • A licensed service provider

See the Petitioner's Responsibilities Under the Hal Marchman Act guide for more information.

Procedure

  1. The requirements in the document titled A Petitioner's Responsibilities Under The Hal Marchman Act must be completed prior to filing a petition.
  2. Complete the petition and other paperwork, then file at one of our Court Operations locations.
  3. The Court will review the paperwork and grant or deny the petition with or without a hearing (ex parte).
  4. If the Court grants the petition, the respondent will be served a copy.
  5. If the court finds it necessary, it may order the Sheriff to take the person into custody and deliver them to the licensed service provider the petitioner has previously arranged for as directed in the document titled A Petitioner's Responsibilities under the Hal Marchman Act.
  6. A licensed service provider may admit a client for involuntary assessment and stabilization for a period not to exceed five days.
  7. The Petition for Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization form can be completed online using Adobe Acrobat, then printed on your printer. Other required forms are available in the Clerk & Comptroller's Office.

Involuntary Treatment

For information on court-ordered treatment to a facility for substance abuse, review Chapter 397, Florida Statutes.

Criteria

A person may be the subject of a petition for court-ordered involuntary treatment if that person meets the criteria for involuntary admission provided in Chapter 397, Florida Statutes.

A petition may be filed on an adult person by:

  • Any relative.
  • Any three adults who have personal knowledge of a person’s substance abuse impairment.
  • The director of a licensed service provider.
  • The director’s designee.
  • Guardian.
  • The person’s spouse.

A petition may be filed on a minor by a parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, or a licensed service provider.

Procedure 

  1. The petition and other paperwork should be completed at one of our Court Operations locations..
  2. The Court determines if it will grant or deny the petition with or without a hearing (ex parte).
  3. If the Court grants the petition, a hearing is set within 10 days.
  4. The respondent will receive a court-appointed attorney.
  5. The Notice of Hearing will be serviced on the respondent, guardian or legal custodian, the petitioner, the respondent's spouse, or whomever the Court may direct.
  6. The Court will hear all relevant evidence.
  7. The respondent must be present at the hearing unless appearance is waived by the Court.
  8. At the hearing, petitioner(s) have the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence.
  9. The Court will determine if the respondent is substance-abuse impaired and because of such impairment has lost the power of self-control, or deny the petition.

Forms

You may access printable forms from our Legal Resource Center Mental Health forms page.