Marchman Act (Substance Abuse)
Services available in the Probate Division (Room 102-Courthouse)
Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization Florida Statutes 397.301
A Petition for Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization may be filed in the Probate Division of the Clerk’s Office at the County Court House, 490 South Commerce Avenue, Sebring, Florida 33870. A person may be the subject of a petition for court-ordered involuntary treatment if that person meets the criteria for involuntary admission provided in Florida Statutes 397.675 and 397.693. Marchman Act Form. Involuntary admission to a facility for substance abuse (not to exceed 5 days).If the petition is being filed on an adult, it may filed by:
- the spouse or guardian,
- any relative,
- a private practitioner,
- the director of a licensed substance abuse agency, OR
- any adult who has personal knowledge of the individual’s substance
- abuse impairment.
- legal guardian,
- legal custodian,
- a licensed service provider
The following criteria must be explained by a party seeking involuntary admission for an individual who refuses voluntary substance abuse treatment:
(1) I believe the individual is substance abuse impaired
(2) I believe that because of such impairment the individual has lost the
power of self-control with respect to substance abuse
The petitioner will receive notice of the date of the hearing by mail.
The individual believed to have the substance abuse problem will be served with a Notice of Hearing.
At every stage of the process the respondent is entitled to be represented by an attorney.
At the hearing, the Judge will determine whether a court ordered admission is necessary and the least restrictive placement for the assessment (inpatient or outpatient)
At the hearing, information needs to be presented to the Judge as to where the individual may be taken for the assessment
If an individual refuses to comply with court-ordered involuntary assessment or treatment, a finding of indirect criminal contempt may be ordered.
The Petitioner must be present at the hearing and be prepared to testify as to the evidence supporting the facts stated in the petition.
An attorney of the petitioner’s choice may be necessary to insure that the petition is filed correctly and that the evidence is properly presented at the hearing.
Witnesses must be present at the hearing to testify to HAVING PERSONALLY SEEN THE PERSON USING DRUGS as well as other dangerous behaviors.
Within 5 days after an involuntary admission for assessment on a judge’s order or three days for other involuntary admission for assessment, the individual must be assessed to determine the need for further treatment, voluntary admission or discharge if it is found that the criteria are net met.