Baker Act

A Baker Act is a means of providing individuals with emergency services and temporary detention for mental health examination and treatment when required.

Involuntary Examination

An involuntary examination is an involuntary admission to a facility for a person who may be mentally ill (not to exceed 72 hours). View Chapter 394.463 Florida Statutes for more information.


A person may be taken to a receiving facility for an involuntary examination if there is reason to believe they are mentally ill when:

  • The person has refused voluntary examination.
  • The person is unable to determine whether an examination is necessary.
  • Without care or treatment the person:
  • May be under threat of substantial harm to his/her well-being.
  • May cause serious bodily harm to him/herself or others.
  • May suffer from neglect.


  1. A petition may be filed at one of our Court Operations locations by any interested person(s).
  2. The Court will review the petition and grant or deny the petition.
  3. If the Court grants the petition, a certified copy of the documents filed is sent to the Sheriff’s Office.
  4. The Sheriff’s Office will serve the individual and deliver him/her to the nearest receiving facility.
  5. A person may not be held in a receiving facility for involuntary examination longer than 72 hours.

The Petition  may be completed online using Adobe Acrobat and printed on your printer.


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