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What is The Marchman Act?

By: Rhea Rosier, Palm Partners Recovery Center

December 16th, 2011

The Marchman Act is a petition for Involunatry Assessment. A Petition for Involuntary Assessment may be filed when there is good  reason to believe an individual is impaired due to drugs and alcohol, and because of that impairment, has lost the power of self-control with respect to those substances. The Petition is filed with the Clerk of Court and must be set for hearing within 10 days. Notice of hearing is provided by mail to the petitioners.

The patient is served notice of hearing by a plainclothes Deputy Sheriff. A General Magistrate presides at the hearing. After hearing all relevant testimony, the court may enter an Order for Involuntary Assessment. Unless arrangements have been made for assessment at a private facility, the court order shall direct the Sheriff’s Office to take the patient into custody and deliver them to a public facility licensed by the Department of Children and Families. The facility will assess and stabilize the patient for a period up to 5 days. A written assessment is sent to the court. Once the written assessment is received, the court may proceed with the Petition for Involuntary Treatment.

A Petition for Involuntary Treatment may be filed once the written assessment is reviewed by the court and the recommendation is involuntary treatment. Notice of hearing is provided by mail to the petitioners and any attorney on record. The patient is once again served notice of hearing by a Deputy Sheriff. A magistrate presides at the hearing and after taking all relevant testimony, the court may enter an order for involuntary treatment for a period up to 60 days. It may also direct the Sheriff to take the patient into custody and delivery him to the licensed facility.A Marchman Act is perfect for those who have lost the inability to take care of themselves and can give a family some reassurance with the hope that their loved one can get well again.


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