Mental Health



Florida Statute 394.463                No Filing Fee -  Forms available in Family

A sworn petition for involuntary examination may be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court if there is reason to believe that someone is mentally ill and because of his or her illness:

  • The person has refused voluntary examination;

  • The person is unable to determine for himself or herself whether the examination is necessary;

  • And without care or treatment, the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself;

  • Such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to his or her well being;

  • And it is not apparent that such harm may be avoided through the help of willing family members or friends or the provision of other services;

  • Or there is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself or herself or others in the near future as evidenced by recent behavior.

If the petition for involuntary examination is granted, an ex parte order may be entered and the person will be taken to a receiving facility for an involuntary examination for up to a 72 hour period.

Marchman Act  - Substance Abuse - Forms available in Family Division

Florida Statutes 397.6811 through 397.6822  -           No Filing Fee

A sworn petition for involuntary assessment and stabilization may be filed with the Clerk of Court by the respondent's spouse or guardian, any relative, a private practitioner, the director of a licensed service provider or any three adults who have personal knowledge of the respondent's substance abuse impairment and they believe:

  • Because of impairment the respondent has lost the power of self-control with respect to substance abuse.

  • Respondent is likely to inflict physical harm on themselves or others unless admitted

  • Petitioner believes that the respondent's refusal to voluntarily receive care is based on judgment so impaired by substance abuse that he or she is incapable of appreciating his or her need for care and of making a rational decision regarding the need for care.  If the respondent has refused to submit to an assessment, such refusal must be alleged in the petition.

Vulnerable Adult Protective Act

Florida Statute 415.1051

The Department of Children and Family Services should be contacted if there is reason to believe that a vulnerable adult is being abused, neglected or exploited and is in need of protective services but lacks the capacity to consent to protective services.

Call 772-467-3890 to report