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  • Baker Act with a Bite

    How new criminal penalties in the Florida Mental Health Act may help protect patient rights In 2022, the Florida legislature passed additional patient protections in the Florida Mental Health Act. Those new protections include potential criminal penalties for facilities (and staff) who willfully violate patient rights or conspire to hold someone without legal authority. Here…

  • Order Denying Risk Protection Order (No Retroactive Application)

    Attached is a sample Order Denying Petition for Risk Protection Order. In this case, the court held that the law cannot be applied retroactively, meaning that facts alleged to have occurred prior to the law going into effect on March 09, 2018, could not be used as a basis for a petition. Retroactive application would…

  • Sample Ex Parte Risk Protection Order

    If you are served with a Petition for Risk Protection Order, it will look something like this sample ex parte risk protection order. An "ex parte" petition means that law enforcement can present it to the court and get the order without giving you notice or an opportunity to appear. This is what allows them…

  • Baker Act Law Symposium 2019

    Members of the public and Florida attorneys are invited to attend the Baker Act Defense Attorney Symposium Summit (BADASS)! Chapter 394 of the Florida Statutes (commonly called the "Baker Act") is a law that allows health practitioners and law enforcement officers to initiate an involuntary 72-hour mental health examination within a psychiatric facility. If the…

  • The Problem with Florida’s New Risk Protection Order Law

      After the shooting at Parkland, the Florida legislature took an unprecedented step toward gun control by passing the Risk Protection Order Act. CS/SB 7026 (2018-3, Laws of Florida) also upped the age to purchase firearms from 18 to 21 and instituted a mandatory waiting period for the purchase of firearms. The law also created…

  • The problem with (refusing) psychiatric medications

    One of the most common questions I receive from family members whose children or loved ones have been Baker Acted (placed in a psychiatric facility for an involuntary mental health examination) is whether the patient can refuse psychiatric medication, or “psychotropics.” I get this question most often from parents who are inclined to refuse psychiatric…