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legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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My questions have to do with the Marchman Act in Florida. My

Customer Question

My questions have to do with the Marchman Act in Florida. My son is an addict. I started the Marchman Act by doing a Petition for Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization. My son lives in Fort Lauderdale and I live in PA. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday Nov 8 in the morning. As of now, he has not been served by the Sheriff. Is there any way to get a continuance on my own without my having to fly down there for Tuesday to just have it possibly rescheduled? Also if I do proceed with the Marchman Act and my son is ordered to involuntary treatment, do I get a say in what treatment facility we use. My son is on our insurance policy and rehabs in Florida will be out of network for us, so I would choose one as I have in the past that would not require a down payment and take our insurance. Thank you. Bernadine Kosciusko(###) ###-####- home(###) ###-####- cell
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes I have filed a Petition for Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization which is step 1 of the Marchman Act which I did 8 days ago.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Will this be through a phone call which is what I would prefer and not done through online.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your patience. The statute does not state that the facility must be in FL; however if a private facility is not requested, the court will order the patient to a facility licensed by the Department of Family and Children.

The statute only specified: "a hospital or to a licensed detoxification facility or addictions receiving facility" so the judge is free to order an institution that is out of state, and will generally try and work with the insurance company.

I am sorry you are having to deal with this issue as it must be very upsetting and I certainly hope the program works.

A continuance can be requested from the court clerk. They will typically require a reason but if they have not been served yet that is a valid reason since the other party would not know to show up.

Once the petition is filed, the court must determine if the respondent is represented by an attorney or if he or she needs appointed counsel. The court then has two options. It can conduct a hearing within 10 days, after sending a copy of the petition and notice of the hearing to the respondent, the petitioner, other specified people (the respondent's spouse, guardian, and attorney; and parents, guardians, or legal custodians of minors), and others that the court may direct. The court must also send the respondent a summons.

Alternatively, the court may enter an ex parte order authorizing involuntary assessment and stabilization, without a hearing and without appointing counsel, relying solely on the contents of the petition. After issuing such an order, the court can order a law enforcement officer or other designated court agent to take the respondent into custody and deliver him or her to the nearest appropriate provider (Fl. Stat. Ann. §(###) ###-####.

If the court orders a hearing, the respondent must be present during the hearing, unless the court finds that the respondent's presence is likely to be injurious to the respondent or others. In that case, the court must appoint a guardian advocate to act on the respondent's behalf.

The court must hear all relevant testimony. The respondent has the right to be examined by a court-appointed qualified professional. After hearing all the evidence, the court must determine whether there is a reasonable basis to believe the respondent meets the involuntary admission criteria.

The court must either (1) dismiss the petition; (2) order the respondent's involuntary assessment or stabilization; or (3) if it believes that due to other mental illness, the respondent is likely to injure himself or herself or another if allowed to remain at liberty, the court can initiate involuntary commitment proceedings under the Baker Act.

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No attorney client relationship is created as this is general legal information, not advice; and a personal attorney should be hired if one wishes specific legal advice for their personal situation.