The Marchman Act, Section 397.01, Florida Statutes, has been implemented by the Florida Legislature to address substance and alcohol abuse. A portion of that Act provides a procedure for the involuntary commitment for substance and alcohol abuse services.
What Do I Need to Do Before Filing a Petition?
Before filing a petition you should:
- Find a facility that provides substance abuse services.
- Contact the facility and ensure that a bed is or will be available, and make payment arrangements for these services.
- Take the person to the facility if he or she is willing to be voluntarily admitted.
- The person will be assessed for substance or alcohol abuse. If necessary, the patient will be admitted to the facility and treated.
To find a facility go to http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/substance-abuse
If the Person Is Not Willing to Voluntarily Seek an Evacuation or Treatment, Can a Petition Be Filed with the Courts?
Yes, a Marchman Act Petition seeking court-ordered evaluation and treatment can be filed with the courts. There is no fee for filing a Marchman Act Petition. However, if granted, a $40.00 service fee for the Sheriff is required.
- The petitioner has the burden of proof in any court hearing.
- The petitioner is not entitled to a court-appointed attorney.
- The petitioner must prove that the respondent is substance abuse impaired and is in need of a professional evaluation.
What Must the Petition Contain?
- A full description of the respondent, including height, weight, hair color, and other features;
- The detailed location where the respondent can be found;
- The name, address and phone number of the facility that is available to take the respondent and the name of the person you contacted there;
- The day and time that the bed will be available.
When filing a petition in the Marchman Act Court, it is important to understand that the Court may not always handle matters the way the petitioner wants them to be handled. This is a court, and there are certain laws and procedures that must be followed. The respondent has certain rights, and these rights will be upheld.
After an assessment has been completed the petitioner has the opportunity to return to the courthouse to file the petition for court-ordered treatment. If residential treatment is recommended there may be a long waiting list for admission into a residential program. There are no lock-down residential facilities. If the respondent does not want to stay in treatment, he or she can walk away at any time.
There is no free treatment. Each program has its own structured fees. Generally, the courts do not have any assistance funding. The respondent is responsible for any treatment fees.
Should I Contact a Substance and Alcohol Abuse Attorney?
If you suspect that a loved one or someone you know has a substance or alcohol abuse problem and may need an evaluation or treatment, it is important that you discuss your situation with an experienced substance and alcohol abuse lawyer to learn about your options. The process and laws are complex. You may need the assistance of an experienced substance and alcohol abuse attorney to get a favorable resolution.
Why Fernandez & Hernandez?
The attorneys at Fernandez and Hernandez have experience with substance and alcohol abuse problems and will work vigorously to get the help you need, and may be able to get you some life-changing relief. The attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez have the Marchman Act experience necessary to deal with and resolve the complex evaluation and treatment issues associated with substance and alcohol abuse. The attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez are bilingual and will provide a free and confidential consultation so that you can discuss your problems. The attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez can help you understand all of your options.
If a loved one or someone you know has a substance or alcohol abuse problem and you believe that they qualify for the Marchman Act and need help, Fernandez & Hernandez will guide you through the process. Fernandez & Hernandez can assist you in getting the outcome you deserve. Substance and alcohol abuse cases are complex. Fernandez & Hernandez may be able to help you find a solution. Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez has experience with substance and alcohol abuse issues and will work diligently to get your situation resolved favorably. Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez can help guide you through the process.