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Baker Act Basics – Parris Law, P.A.

Baker Act Basics

Written by: Kendra E. Parris
Posted on: December 26, 2017
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

How does the Baker Act work? Perhaps your child was picked up at school by the police after an incident. Perhaps your loved one ended up at the hospital and, before you know it, he or she was detained in a Baker Act Receiving Facility (read: a psychiatric hospital). Regardless of the situation, Florida’s Mental Health Act has been used – and overused – for decades now, and most people don’t know how to navigate this terrifying situation.

Please use this website as a resource to know what you should do if you feel that a loved one has been improperly detained. Know your rights, know the process, and know what you should do next. Above all, know that you are not alone.

Your first task is going to be to gather as many facts as you can about the situation, including precisely where your loved one has been taken and why. Your second task is to get an attorney with experience in this field. Getting someone out of a mental health facility without  the knowledge and expertise of someone who has experience with the applicable law and medical protocol is going to be exceedingly difficult. Things move somewhat quickly during these situations, so finding a legal representative who can get to the receiving facility or hospital in a timely manner is critical.

Our firm has years of experience in the mental health field and is located in Central Florida. If we can’t make it to where your loved one is being held, however, we have a network of lawyers in the state to whom we can refer you. Most who work in this area can at least provide a brief consultation to let you know what actions should be taken next. Sometimes it’s as easy as making a phone call to the facility to ensure that the patient is not being held beyond the time allowed by law; sometimes the case might be more involved and involve filing a petition with the applicable court.

Either way, keep in mind that an involuntary commitment is a matter of basic constitutional rights and freedoms, and you will have to fight for them.