What is a Baker, Marchman Act or ex parte? Can anyone file?

Ex parte means to file without prior knowledge to the party being filed against. Baker and Marchman Acts are examples of ex parte filings as these are filed and processed through the court system without the patient's knowledge.

A Baker Act is a petition filed when someone is a danger to themselves or others due to mental instability unrelated to substance abuse.

A Marchman Act is a petition filed when someone is a danger to themselves or others due to substance abuse.

Both the Baker and Marchman Act petition forms, are available at the clerk's office without fee. These petitions must be filed in paper form by the person applying for the intervention.

Anyone may seek to have a Baker or Marchman Act placed.  You will need the patient's full name and an address where the patient may be located.

When the petition is filed with the clerk's office, it is immediately provided to the court for review. Upon granting of the petition, the order is promptly supplied directly to the sheriff for service upon the patient.  When the sheriff serves the documentation, the patient will be taken to the a facility for evaluation by a licensed physician.  The current facility is Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. It is up to the physician to determine how long the patient will be treated as inpatient.

There are no associated filing fees for this type of case.

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