Baker Act: Definitions, Relevant Statutes, Key Checklist Items and Critical Timeframes

The “Baker Act is the common name for The Florida Mental Health Act of 1971; (Chapter 394 – Mental Health Part 1- Florida Mental Health Act State Statutes 394.451-394.47891) which allows an man or woman to be involuntary examined and institutionalized.The Baker Act permits for involuntary examination and can be initiated via judges, cops, physicians, or intellectual fitness experts. The two standards that have to be gift is that individual:

• has a mental infection (as defined inside the Baker Act).
• is a harm to self, damage to others, or there may be evidence of self-overlook (as defined in the Baker Act).

Mental infection” method an impairment of the intellectual or emotional procedures that exercising conscious manage of 1’s movements or of the capacity to understand or recognize fact, which impairment considerably interferes with the character’s capability to meet the everyday needs of living. For the purposes of this part, the term does no longer consist of a developmental disability as described in bankruptcy 393, intoxication, or conditions manifested best by means of delinquent conduct or substance abuse impairment” (as defined in the Baker Act).


394.459 Rights of patients.
394.4615 Clinical information; confidentiality.
394.462 Transportation.
394.4625 Voluntary admissions.
394.463 Involuntary examination.
394.4655 Involuntary outpatient placement.
394.467 Involuntary inpatient placement.
394.468 Admission and discharge strategies.
394.4685 Transfer of patients amongst centers.
394.469 Discharge of involuntary patients.


Certificate of Professional Initiating Involuntary Examination
• Include name of client/affected person
• Complete date and/or time
• Be positive to list intellectual infection diagnosis
• Behaviors helping mental analysis may be included
• Include printed name of expert finishing the shape
• Include the degree/name of the expert e.G. MD, PhD, LCSW, Physician, Psychiatrist and so forth.

Release from Involuntary Examination

• Include info as to why the character is being launched from involuntary exam
• Include date and time of the exam

Voluntary Admission

• Use the appropriate bureaucracy for minor infant and adult
• Note at the voluntary admission form if minor baby refused to co-signal
• Voluntary admission form can best be signed with the aid of a prison father or mother/parent
• Be positive to include the call of the patient
• Make sure to complete the reason the individual came to the clinic
• Printed name of the team of workers/man or woman witnessing signature needs to be legible

Petition for Involuntary Inpatient Placement

• Psychiatrist/Clinical Psychologist call needs to be on the perfect line
• 1st and second Opinions have to be finished earlier than the Baker Act expires
• Include observations helping petition
• Include the date and time of the examination
• Writing at the report desires to be legible


Certificate of Professional Initiating Involuntary Examination

• Examine individual inside previous forty eight hours
• 72 hour clock is non-negotiable- character has to be transformed to voluntary status or involuntary inpatient placement procedure needs to be initiated

Emergency Medical Condition

• The seventy two-hour length begins when the affected person arrives on the hospital and ceases when the attending physician documents that the affected person has an emergency scientific condition.
• Once character is medically cleared the BA clock resumes.
• One of the subsequent need to occur inside 12 hours after the patient’s attending medical doctor documents that the affected person’s clinical condition has stabilized or that an emergency scientific condition does not exist:
1. The affected person should be examined via a designated receiving facility and launched; or
2. The affected person have to be transferred to a delegated receiving facility wherein suitable clinical treatment is available.

Petition for Involuntary Inpatient Placement

• 1st opinion, 2nd opinion and courtroom submitting must manifest within 72 hours

Request for Discharge from Hospital

• Must be communicated to a physician, clinical psychologist, or psychiatrist as fast as possible, however not later than 12 hours after the request is made.
• Person must be examined inside 24 hours and 1) either needs to be discharged 2) involuntary inpatient placement process has to be initiated or three) request for discharge must be rescinded by patient

Transfer to Involuntary Status

• If involuntary placement petition is filed it should be filed within 2 court docket running days

Court Hearing on Involuntary Inpatient Placement

• Within five courtroom working days

Writ of Habeas Corpus

• Must be filed with the court via subsequent court docket operating day