Marchman Act | Backer Act

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Mental health | Marchman Act

Marchman Act

Marchman Act Defense.

We also understand that sometimes the state does not use the least restrictive means possible in getting your loved one help. Sometimes a court may order someone to inpatient treatment when outpatient treatment may be more appropriate.

We have also seen it happen, where a family member maliciously petitions for treatment under the Marchman Act for underlying reasons or alternative motives. In such an event, our firm is also here to protect them and their constitutional rights. If you know of a friend or a family member that has fallen victim to such a situation, contact us now for a free consultation to see how we can help defend and protect their constitutional rights. We are Marchman Act Attorneys that can help.


General Opinion by a Marchman Act/Baker Act lawyer from the Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tampa area.

The Marchman Act falls under Florida Chapter 397. (A link to the official site for the Florida legislature is provide at the bottom). Marchman Act attorneys are rare! This is because Marchman act cases fall between the criminal world and the civil world. Why? Because, it is a civil style case that contains involuntary commitment and there are not many attorneys that practice in both arenas. When fighting against the Marchman, most of our wins come from procedural technicalities, mostly based on jurisdictional issues. The procedural guidelines are very technical, and with 57 pages + of legislature it is a lot of information to take in. Moreover, Marchman Act court in and of itself can be very intimidated. In this arena its as if the Judge is the Prosecutor/Plaintiff, the Judge (again), the jury, and what may seem like the executioner. You will be appointed counsel, but most of the time you won't even get to speak to your counsel or even know who your counsel is until you are in front of the judge. Then before you can blink, you are committed under the Marchman. We see this a lot, especially in the Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tampa areas. At that point it will feel like it is you against the world.   Feel free to call anytime and talk to lawyer who will listen. We are happy to discuss your options free of charge. We are here to help!

Petition for Marchman Act: Getting your loved one help and the initiation process. 

Are you concerned about a loved one that allows drugs or alcohol to control their life? A loved one’s substance can be frustrating and dangerous as you watch their life deteriorate before your eyes. The recently passed Marchman Act in Florida, Florida Chapter 397 gives family members the opportunity to file a petition with the court to have their loved one ordered to stabilization, evaluation, and a treatment program to address their needs. It is a confidential program with no criminal implications towards their record so that the individual can receive the help they need. You don’t have to wait for your loved one to get hurt or end up in jail. Family members can be proactive in getting their loved ones help by filing a petition.

Marchman Act proceedings are a unique and specialized area of law. When a loved one needs help and a petition for their help is filed, too often does the case get immediately dismissed for technical reasons. Having an attorney who has experience with Marchman Act proceedings can be difference in ensuring that your loved one gets the help they deserve. For more information on how you can help your loved one, please call us for a free consultation.