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Court Services - Marchman Act

Chapter 397 of the Florida Statutes is known as the "Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993". It provides for the involuntary or voluntary assessment and stabilization of a person allegedly abusing substances like drugs or alcohol, and provides for treatment of substance abuse.

The courts have jurisdiction of involuntary assessment, stabilization petitions, and involuntary treatment petitions for substance abuse impaired persons. All substance abuse cases in Escambia County are initiated through the Baptist Hospital Lakeview Center located at 1221 W. Lakeview Ave, Pensacola, Florida 32501.

Marchman Act- Involuntary Assessment - Florida Statute 397.6811
A Petition for Involuntary Assessment may be filed when there is good faith reason to believe an individual is substance-abuse impaired and because of that impairment, has lost the power of self-control with respect to substance use.  The Petition is filed with the Clerk of Court and must be set for hearing within 10 days.  Notice of hearing is provided by mail to the petitioners.  The patient is served notice of hearing by the Sheriff.  A General Master presides at the hearing.  After hearing all relevant testimony, the court may enter an Order for Involuntary Assessment.  Unless arrangements have been made for assessment at a private facility, the court order shall direct the Sheriff's Office to take the patient into custody and deliver him/her to a public facility licensed by the Department of Children and Families.  The facility will assess and stabilize the patient for a period not to exceed 5 days. A written assessment is sent to the court.  Once the written assessment is received, the court may proceed with the Petition For Involuntary Treatment.

Marchman Act- Involuntary Treatment - Florida Statute 397.693A Petition for Involuntary treatment may be filed once the written assessment is reviewed by the court and the recommendation is involuntary treatment. Notice of hearing is provided by mail to the petitioners and any attorney on record. The patient is once again served notice of hearing by a plainclothes Deputy Sheriff. A general master presides at the hearing and after taking all relevant testimony, the court may enter an order for involuntary treatment for a period not to exceed 60 days. It may also direct the Sheriff to take the patient into custody and delivery him to the licensed facility.



Contact Information

Probate / Mental Health / Guardianship

Telephone: (850) 595-4300   
OFFICE LOCATION

Room 23009 - Second Floor
190 W Government St
Pensacola, Florida  32502
(map)
MAILING ADDRESS
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Probate Division
P.O. Box 333
Pensacola, Florida  32591-0333


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Marchman Act?
Chapter 397 of the Florida Statutes is know as the "Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993". It provides for the involuntary or voluntary assessment and stabilization of a person allegedly abusing substances like drugs or alcohol, and provides for treatment of substance abuse.


What is a voluntary Marchman Act admission?
A voluntary admission occurs when a person seeks treatment for substance abuse and applies to a service provider to receive such treatment.


What is an involuntary admission for assessment and stabilization?
An involuntary admission occurs when there is good faith reason to believe the person is substance abuse impaired, and because of such impairment, the person has (a) lost the power of self control with respect to substance use, and either (b) has inflicted or attempted/threatened to inflict, or, unless admitted for treatment, is likely to inflict, physical harm to him/herself or another; or (c) the person's judgment has been so impaired because of substance abuse that he/she is incapable of appreciating the need for substance abuse services and to make a rational decision regarding substance abuse services.


Who files the Petition for Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization?
All substance abuse petitions in Escambia County Florida are initiated through Baptist Hospital - Lakeview Center located at 1221 W. Lakeview Ave, Pensacola, FL  32501.  The petition may be filed by the person's spouse, guardian, any relative, a private practitioner, the director of a licensed service provider or designee, or any person with personal knowledge of the person. For a minor, the petition may be filed by a parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, or licensed service provider. The petitioner must have recently observed the behavior of the person who is the subject of the petition.


Where can I find more information about the Marchman Act?
The Marchman Act can be found in Chapter 397 of the Florida Statutes.




Forms

NOTE: The forms supplied by the Clerk's office are general in nature and may not meet your specific needs. The Clerk does not guarantee the legal sufficiency of these forms; therefore, you may need to consult with an attorney regarding your particular situation.



Related Resources


NOTE: Most of the "Related Resource" links above are not maintained by the Clerk.