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

The “Baker Act is the average title 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 permits a person to be involuntary tested and institutionalized.The Baker Act lets in for involuntary exam and may also be initiated via judges, police officers, physicians, or psychological well being execs. The two standards that will have to be provide is that individual:

• has a psychological sickness (as outlined within the Baker Act).

• is a hurt to self, hurt to others, or there may be proof of self-neglect (as outlined within the Baker Act).

Mental sickness” manner an impairment of the psychological or emotional processes that workout aware keep watch over of 1’s movements or of the power to understand or perceive truth, which impairment considerably interferes with the individual’s talent to satisfy the bizarre calls for of dwelling. For the needs of this phase, the time period does now not come with a developmental incapacity as outlined in bankruptcy 393, intoxication, or stipulations manifested handiest via delinquent habits or substance abuse impairment” (as outlined within the Baker Act).


394.459 Rights of sufferers.

394.4615 Clinical data; confidentiality.

394.462 Transportation.

394.4625 Voluntary admissions.

394.463 Involuntary exam.

394.4655 Involuntary outpatient placement.

394.467 Involuntary inpatient placement.

394.468 Admission and discharge procedures.

394.4685 Transfer of sufferers amongst amenities.

394.469 Discharge of involuntary sufferers.


Certificate of Professional Initiating Involuntary Examination

• Include title of consumer/affected person

• Complete date and/or time

• Be certain to checklist psychological sickness analysis

• Behaviors supporting psychological analysis may also be incorporated

• Include published title {of professional} finishing the shape

• Include the level/identify of the pro e.g. MD, PhD, LCSW, Physician, Psychiatrist and many others.

Release from Involuntary Examination

• Include main points as to why the individual is being launched from involuntary exam

• Include date and time of the exam

Voluntary Admission

• Use the right kind bureaucracy for minor kid and grownup

• Note at the voluntary admission shape if minor kid refused to co-sign

• Voluntary admission shape can handiest be signed via a felony mother or father/dad or mum

• Be certain to incorporate the title of the affected person

• Make certain to finish the explanation the individual got here to the sanatorium

• Printed title of the team of workers/individual witnessing signature must be legible

Petition for Involuntary Inpatient Placement

• Psychiatrist/Clinical Psychologist title must be on the right kind line

• 1st and second Opinions need to be finished ahead of the Baker Act expires

• Include observations supporting petition

• Include the date and time of the exam

• Writing at the report must be legible


Certificate of Professional Initiating Involuntary Examination

• Examine individual inside previous 48 hours

• 72 hour clock is non-negotiable- individual must be transformed to voluntary standing or involuntary inpatient placement procedure must be initiated

Emergency Medical Condition

• The 72-hour duration starts when the affected person arrives on the sanatorium and ceases when the attending doctor paperwork that the affected person has an emergency scientific situation.

• Once individual is medically cleared the BA clock resumes.

• One of the next will have to happen inside 12 hours after the affected person’s attending doctor paperwork that the affected person’s scientific situation has stabilized or that an emergency scientific situation does now not exist:

1. The affected person will have to be tested via a delegated receiving facility and launched; or

2. The affected person will have to be transferred to a delegated receiving facility during which suitable scientific remedy is to be had.

Petition for Involuntary Inpatient Placement

• 1st opinion, second opinion and court docket submitting will have to occur inside 72 hours

Request for Discharge from Hospital

• Must be communicated to a health care provider, scientific psychologist, or psychiatrist as briefly as conceivable, however now not later than 12 hours after the request is made.

• Person must be tested inside 24 hours and 1) both must be discharged 2) involuntary inpatient placement procedure must be initiated or 3) request for discharge must be rescinded via affected person

Transfer to Involuntary Status

• If involuntary placement petition is filed it will have to be filed inside 2 court docket operating days

Court Hearing on Involuntary Inpatient Placement

• Within five court docket operating days

Writ of Habeas Corpus

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


National Alliance on Mental Illness

1 (800) 950-NAMI (6264)

National Institute of Mental Health