Baker Act Lawyer

Baker Act Lawyer

Phone 727-686-1852 to get help from an experienced Mental Health Rights Advocate!

Every patient has the right to a Baker Act lawyer when they are held at a facility for the 72-hour involuntary examination. Additionally, they have the right to communicate with their attorney at any “reasonable time”. A Baker Act lawyer can be of great assistance to the patient and their family in establishing a legal presence during the time the individual is kept at the psychiatric hospital and afterwards. Many people are not given full information about their right to an attorney as well as their right to file a Habeas Corpus (a legal request to find out why they are being detained).

The following is excerpted from the Florida law on Baker Act:

394.459 Rights of patients. (4) QUALITY OF TREATMENT.— (c) Each facility must permit immediate access to any patient, subject to the patient’s right to deny or withdraw consent at any time, by the patient’s family members, guardian, guardian advocate, representative, Florida statewide or local advocacy council, or attorney, unless such access would be detrimental to the patient. If a patient’s right to communicate or to receive visitors is restricted by the facility, written notice of such restriction and the reasons for the restriction shall be served on the patient, the patient’s attorney, and the patient’s guardian, guardian advocate, or representative; and such restriction shall be recorded on the patient’s clinical record with the reasons therefor. The restriction of a patient’s right to communicate or to receive visitors shall be reviewed at least every 7 days. The right to communicate or receive visitors shall not be restricted as a means of punishment. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to limit the provisions of paragraph (d).

(d) Each facility shall establish reasonable rules governing visitors, visiting hours, and the use of telephones by patients in the least restrictive possible manner. Patients shall have the right to contact and to receive communication from their attorneys at any reasonable time.

Too often, an individual is placed under the Baker Act without the understanding of why they were brought into the facility against their will. As a patient under an involuntary hold, they do not have the right to get up and leave whenever they wish. A physician, a psychiatrist, must certify that they are “okay” to be discharged. Therefore, having a Baker Act lawyer may prove to be helpful. There are not a lot of lawyers in Florida who specialize in the Baker Act law, so it may be beneficial to speak with a human rights advocate to see if you need an attorney and if you do, to give you a list of those lawyers who might be able to take your case.

In addition to the involuntary status, under the Baker Act, there is the voluntary status. Sometimes individuals admit themselves if they are, currently, taking mental health medication and experiencing an adverse reaction that warrants medical care. Some patients who are brought in on an involuntary basis are told that if they sign “voluntary” they will be released sooner. This is not what the Florida Statute on the The Baker Act Statute says.

Florida Statute 394.4625 (2) DISCHARGE OF VOLUNTARY PATIENTS.— states: (a) A facility shall discharge a voluntary patient: 2. Who revokes consent to admission or requests discharge. A voluntary patient or a relative, friend, or attorney of the patient may request discharge either orally or in writing at any time following admission to the facility. The patient must be discharged within 24 hours of the request, unless the request is rescinded or the patient is transferred to involuntary status pursuant to this section. The 24-hour time period may be extended by a treatment facility when necessary for adequate discharge planning, but shall not exceed 3 days exclusive of weekends and holidays. If the patient, or another on the patient’s behalf, makes an oral request for discharge to a staff member, such request shall be immediately entered in the patient’s clinical record. If the request for discharge is made by a person other than the patient, the discharge may be conditioned upon the express and informed consent of the patient.

Therefore, it is clear that under “voluntary status, the patient when requesting to leave, is either discharged or the psychiatrist will petition for the patient to be placed under involuntary status.

A Baker Act lawyer can help you to sort through your particular situation and all the details of your circumstances and help to file appropriate legal paperwork. A Mental Health Rights advocate can help to answer your questions with factual information that assists you in asserting your rights and can give you a list of attorneys to speak to if you are in need of one.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

  1. I was baker acted a few months ago..I was robbed of some of my property..I have a good case.have all my notes amd paperwork. They are saying I refused to sign paperwork..but I signed to release my medical records. I am in desperate need to speak with a lawyer. Please can someone contact at your earliest convenience..thank you in advance

  2. Please help me, I was raped in Miami in 2007 and the dine under the Baker act, I had no idea why, even the physiatrists used to introduce me to everyone else as being there by mistake, the person they had put me under was on holiday, I have since tried to commit suicide several times, they did appalling things to me and I need a lawyer to help as my statue of limitations is running out, it has destroyed my marriage and my life

    • Stephen Alfred Talmadge, Jr. Esq.

      Dr. Stephen Alfred Talmadge, Jr. was awarded a Ph.D. in psychology in 1989, after which he served as a licensed clinical psychologist during his 20 year career in the Navy. In 1997, he became a Diplomate in Forensic Psychology, performing evaluations and testifying in military proceedings for all services, worldwide.

      Prior to becoming an associate attorney at a private law firm, Steve was employed by a public defender as a law clerk, working on cases that involved involuntary commitment in psychiatric facilities. Steve was selected as a law clerk at a U. S. Attorney’s office during law school. Steve works exclusively on wrongful Baker Act cases.

      Website: http://www.bakeractlawyer.com

      Email: Steve.talmadge@bakeractlawyer.com

  3. What should i do or say if i am being threatened of being Baker Acted against my will by no apparent reason, if i was already diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and already treated for the cause. Should I get a lawyer or attorney just in case they do with out no probable cause. All I did was make a complaint about someone doing something to me at a homeless shelter. I confronted and said don’t touch us we are trying to work and get out of here. They threatened to baker act me and kick me out of the shelter for giving a tip. I have a case manager and I am job hunting. Now there’s gossip and words against me. The place they threatened me is Aspire in Orlando, FL which use to be called Lakeside. I have been baker acted once in my life with the hospital here. few years ago. My mom tried to get a lawyer, but all they said was try to get her out its been to long pass 72 hours and i was abused in there. My mom got me out, but couldn’t get a lawyer or attorney. I was on medical leave of absence with my job too. I just need some advice because I am afraid for my life I am homeless and trying to get back on feet. Thank you for your time and resource.

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