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Is there a Baker Act law in Tennessee. I have a 28 year old

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Is there a Baker Act law in Tennessee. I have a 28 year old daughter that was diagnosed 4 years ago with Bipolor I disorder. The past two years she has turned to drugs. Marijuana, and Meth and God knows what else. She has been in mental hospitials so many times I can even tell you, I have lost count. She was taken to a Mobile Crisis unit here in Memphis last night for assaulting an officer in the middle of a busy intersection in rush hour traffic. The mobile crisis unit has called her father that has Durable Power of Attorney for Healtcare and told him they had to let her go because she was not a threat to herself!! She just got out of Lakeside Behavorial Health System here in Memphis on May the 20th and has not taken her medicine and has continued to do drugs. Her mental benefits on her BCBS policy have been exhausted. I am at my wits end. I don't know what else to do to help her as she is 28 years old and my hands are tied. Do you have any advice that can help me and her?

Thank you,

Cindy Maxwell
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 6 years ago.

NOTE: Due to a computer issue, my original spacing has been removed, resulting in a "scrunched up" appearance of text. I have notified technical support and apologize for any inconvenience.


Thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.



  1. I am a licensed attorney with mental health law experience. I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information.
  2. "Is there a Baker Act law in Tennessee." Yes, there is this type of law in your jurisdiction. First of all, please allow me to say that I am genuinely sorry for your painful circumstances. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX soon look brighter. In terms of your direct question, here is what Tennessee law provides. The actual law is codified at Tenn. Code Ann. Title 33, Chapter 6, Part 4 (emergency involuntary admission) or Part 5 (nonemergency involuntary admission). If each and every underlying prerequisite has been met, then the appropriate petition can be filed such as a Complaint for Involuntary Commitment. That all sounds fine, but as a practical matter the reality is far from ideal. In other words, the harsh truth is that all of the statutory elements must be met. Tragically, this means that the system cannot and will not intervene against her wishes unless and until your daughter reaches the desperate point of presenting an immediate danger to herself or others as defined by statute. It gives me no pleasure to be the bearer of this news, but my primary aim is to be upfront with you. I also offer these comments as a registered nurse who currently works with mentally ill patients every week. Your hands are essentially tied in this regard. Other than for trying to reason with your daughter -- and believe me, I know easier said than done -- the legal system has nothing to offer unless she either voluntary agrees to accept help or reaches the point of qualify for involuntary assessment and intervention as stipulated by statute.
  3. I hope that makes sense, but please do not hesitate to write back if needed. I shall be signing off soon to attend to some other professional obligations. Please rest assured, however, that I will be sure to check for any updated posts from you when I return to this online forum. I hope all works out.


I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.


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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

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