Marchman Act

A person may meet the criteria for involuntary admission, including protective custody, emergency admission and involuntary assessment, involuntary treatment, and alternative involuntary assessment for minors, for purposes of assessment and stabilization.  This can occur if there is a good faith reason to believe that the person is substance abuse impaired or has a co-occurring mental health disorder and, because of such impairment or disorder has lost the power of self-control with respect to substance abuse, is in need of substance abuse services and his or her judgment has been so impaired that he or she is incapable of appreciating his or her need for such services of making a rational decision in that regard.

A person who meets these criteria may be admitted for up to 5 days to a hospital or a licensed detoxification facility or addictions receiving facility for involuntary assessment and stabilization or to a less restrictive component of a licensed service provider for assessment. A continuance may be granted not to exceed 7 days.   The court may order a law enforcement officer or other designated agent of the court to take the person into custody and deliver him or her to the nearest appropriate licensed service provider.

If the person is an adult, a petition may be filed with no court fee by their spouse, legal guardian, any relative, a private practitioner, the director of a licensed service provider or designee or an adult who has direct personal knowledge of the person’s abuse impairment.  If the person is a minor a petition may be filed by a parent, legal guardian, legal custodian or licensed service provider.

What if the person displays violent behavior?

If you believe a person is substance abuse impaired and has lost the power of self-control and is likely to inflict physical harm on himself or herself or others unless admitted, you should call the attorneys at the Figueroa Law Group, P.A. to assist you with this complex process.  If you have been involuntary admitted and believe that you are capable of appreciating your need for care and can make rational decisions for your care and are not impaired by substance abuse you should contact the attorneys at the Figueroa Law Group, P.A. as you have the right to legal representation. A respondent has the right to counsel at every stage of a proceeding related to a petition for involuntary assessment and involuntary treatment for substance abuse treatment.

What happens after filing?

Upon filing a Petition for Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization a court may enter a court order without a hearing authorizing the involuntary assessment and stabilization of the person or may provide a date and time to conduct a hearing within 10 days.

A Petition for Court-Ordered Involuntary Treatment may also be filed if the person meets the criteria for involuntary admission and has been placed under protective custody within the previous 10 days; has been subject to an emergency admission within the previous 10 days; has been assessed by a qualified professional within 5 days; has been subject to involuntary assessment and stabilization within the previous 12 days or has been subject to alternative involuntary admission within the previous 12 days.  In this phase of the proceedings, the court shall conduct a hearing on the petition within 5 days unless a continuance is granted.

When the court finds that the conditions for involuntary services have been proved by clear and convincing evidence, it may order the respondent to receive involuntary services from a publicly funded licensed service provider not to exceed 90 days or privately funded licensed service provider if the respondent has the ability to pay or any person on the respondent’s behalf demonstrates a willingness and an ability to pay for the treatment.

The court if necessary can direct the sheriff to take the person into custody and deliver him or her to the licensed service provider.

A person may be ordered for involuntary inpatient placement for treatment due to mental illness if certain criteria are met.  A person may be retained by a facility or involuntarily placed in a treatment facility upon the recommendation of the administrator of the facility where the person has been examined.  The recommendation must be additionally supported by a psychiatrist and second opinion of a clinical psychologist or another psychiatrist both of whom have examined the person within the preceding 72 hours.  A court will conduct a hearing within 5 working days unless a continuance is granted.  In this situation, a hearing must be held in the county or the facility as appropriate where the patient is located and convenient to the patient.  If the court finds that the criteria have been met the court may order involuntary inpatient placement for up to 90 days and may be for up to 6 months.  The court can also order involuntary outpatient services if the person meets the criteria.

As this process is complex, it is important that you hire an attorney who is competent in the legal process to assist you with your legal right and ensure the necessary time deadlines are met.  Call the attorneys at the Figueroa Law Group, P.A. for an immediate consultation if you are dealing with a person that is substance impaired and/or has a mental illness and you are concerned for their safety or the safety of others.