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stevewlaw
stevewlaw, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 200
Experience:  25+ years and millions of dollars in settlements representing consumers injured by defective products.
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I was adjudicated mentally defective in the state of Florida.

Resolved Question:

I was adjudicated mentally defective in the state of Florida. Is there anything i can do to reverse this decision?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  stevewlaw replied 11 months ago.

stevewlaw :

Hi [USERNAME], my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do the best to help you. My advice is general only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. I have been looking into the Florida Baker Act Law for you. May I ask how this determination was made?

stevewlaw :

Obviously your request for all of your medical and legal records is a great first step. There was obviously a psychiatric report of some sort that precipitated this finding. In order to challenge this finding, you will need to have your own doctor (psychiatrist) opine that you do not suffer from a mental defect. That physician will have to review the medical records and conduct his own examination of you to reach those opinions.

stevewlaw :

I take it you have not been committed to a mental facility as we are chatting online now which I don't believe you would be able to do from a health care facility.

stevewlaw :

If you had been committed, the legal proceeding to challenge your involuntary commitment would be a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. This document is best prepared by a competent attorney who is versed in this area of the law.

stevewlaw :

I believe that the proper way to challenge this finding when you are not subject to an involuntary commitment would be a motion to set aside or disqualify the ruling of the judge who adjudged you to be mentally defective.

stevewlaw :

Here is a link for the Florida Bar Association's lawyer referral service. I suggest that you contact them for a referral to a mental health attorney in your area to contest this finding, if you do not already have an attorney. http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/840090c16eedaf0085256b61000928dc/ec2322e512b83d1e85256b2f006cc812?OpenDocument

stevewlaw :

Do you already have an attorney to help you?

stevewlaw :

Hello? Are you there?

Customer: I am not positive. I hav not received my records yet. I was placed in an inpatient facility under the baker act. I am a veteran and on disability for adjustment disorder ( similar to PTSD) . I had been using marijuana and also having trouble sleeping. I went to the va med center emergency room because I had not been able to sleep for over a day. The doctor at the ER imitated the baker act. After the 72 hours I was asked to stay voulentarily to wich I refused. I was asked if I would like legal representation. I accepted. A magistrate came to the hospital and heard the doctors claim. My legal representative offered no argument. I was made to stay for another 5 days. From the beginning of my stay I was heavily sedated and placed on medications. I believe these mess had an adverse affect on my cognition during my evaluation and hearing.
stevewlaw :

I am so sorry to hear this. I have no doubt that your level of sedation had some affect on your conduct during the hearing. Did they believe you were a danger to yourself or others during this time? Had you ever been a danger to yourself or others?

stevewlaw :

And do you have your own psychiatrist that you see regularly? And how about legal counsel? Do you have legal counsel?

Customer: I had previously had suicidal ideations and violent thoughts however my previous psychiatrist had stated they were normal and my ability to control and cope with these thoughts was healthy. After I was hospitalized I went to a personal doctor because I did not feel comfortable with the VA. This doctor had similar statements my difficulties were emotional and due to trauma not a psychological disorder. A family friend is an attorney and is pulling my records and will recommend someone to represent me.
stevewlaw :

I would like for you to call the Veterans Crisis Line at(NNN) NNN-NNNNand press 1. Go to veteranscrisisline.net. You can also contact the wounded warrior project in Jacksonville. It is a tragedy when who defend our country and out liberties are treated like this. There are loads of veteran assistance agencies out there. I am sure we can find one that can offer the help you need there in Florida. You will definitely need a psychiatrist to help you with the opinion you need. I would be happy to provide you with help in this to the extent that I can.

stevewlaw :

You just have to bear with me and my schedule....

Customer: Thank you for that suggestion. The question I really need answered is if this type of judgment can be reversed. I recently started an 2 year degree program to become a gunsmith. I found out about the adjudication when they ran a background check. My question is three part. Will I be able to own firearms ( I know the law states an adjudication or commitment is a disqualified). If it is possible how do I begin to file for relief ( if it is something I can represent my self on). We're can I read etch the process for relief
stevewlaw :

There is some law on this. I just read it a short time ago on how to challenge this in the context of a firearms issue. I have to take my son to a friends. I will get you the exact procedures and statutes involved and get them to you shortly. I hope this is acceptable. I can also help your attorney friend from afar if needed (though this is not my expertise, I can lend a hand time permitting).

stevewlaw :

I should be able to get to this tonight. I hope this is okay.

stevewlaw :

I will be back shortly so please forgive me if I can't respond right away.

stevewlaw :

Back soon.

Customer: Don't worry about a rapid response I won't have the records until Monday. Any current info you have is what I used this site for. I have studied law in school and would like to do as much as I can to keep costs low. Thanks again.
stevewlaw :

Here is the statute at issue and the process for obtaining relief...http://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/790.065.

stevewlaw :

The relief sections are codified at 790.065 (2)(a)4.d, which provides that:

stevewlaw :

A person who has been adjudicated mentally defective or committed to a mental institution, as those terms are defined in this paragraph, may petition the circuit court that made the adjudication or commitment for relief from the firearm disabilities imposed by such adjudication or commitment. A copy of the petition shall be served on the state attorney for the county in which the person was adjudicated or committed. The state attorney may object to and present evidence relevant to the relief sought by the petition. The hearing on the petition may be open or closed as the petitioner may choose. The petitioner may present evidence and subpoena witnesses to appear at the hearing on the petition. The petitioner may confront and cross-examine witnesses called by the state attorney. A record of the hearing shall be made by a certified court reporter or by court-approved electronic means. The court shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law on the issues before it and issue a final order. The court shall grant the relief requested in the petition if the court finds, based on the evidence presented with respect to the petitioner’s reputation, the petitioner’s mental health record and, if applicable, criminal history record, the circumstances surrounding the firearm disability, and any other evidence in the record, that the petitioner will not be likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to public safety and that granting the relief would not be contrary to the public interest. If the final order denies relief, the petitioner may not petition again for relief from firearm disabilities until 1 year after the date of the final order. The petitioner may seek judicial review of a final order denying relief in the district court of appeal having jurisdiction over the court that issued the order. The review shall be conducted de novo. Relief from a firearm disability granted under this sub-subparagraph has no effect on the loss of civil rights, including firearm rights, for any reason other than the particular adjudication of mental defectiveness or commitment to a mental institution from which relief is granted.

stevewlaw :

Take a look. I hope this is helpful. The instructions for the petition are pretty thoroughly explained in this section. I wish you the very best. Please feel free to ask me for any additional help you need. Thank you for your positive rating. And please, please keep me informed and let me know how things are going.

stevewlaw, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 200
Experience: 25+ years and millions of dollars in settlements representing consumers injured by defective products.
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