The Marchman Act is another name for Florida Statute 395 best known for its unique provisions that allow family members to petition the courts for mandatory assessment and treatment of someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol and appears to be a danger to themselves or others.
There are provisions for emergency admission and/or protective custody which are usually short term and can be ordered by a physician or law enforcement officer. When a loved one wants to file a petition it requires a person’s spouse, relative, guardian or three non-relative adults with firsthand knowledge of the persons impairment.
It’s up to the judge but the idea is that non-compliance with a court order equates to contempt of court and is punishable by jail time. This is where the “teeth” or consequences are introduced for someone refusing to comply with the treatment plan. However, we have found that many counties do not enforce treatment orders with jail time. Judges are very willing and capable to work with the respondents and families as they understand the complexities of substance use disorder, but their main concern is to get respondents the life-saving treatment that they need.
Better Choices staff will assist you in navigating the complexities of Marchman Act Court and guide the families, loved ones and client through Part One and Two of Marchman Court proceedings and into treatment.