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Mental Health

The term “mental health” for our purposes, refers to several different types of filings in the Probate, Guardianship, and Mental Health Department. These filings include Baker Acts and Substance Abuse, Ex Parte and Involuntary Placements, Petitions to Determine Incapacity, and Petitions for Adult Protective Services.  With the exception of the Petition to Determine Incapacity, there are no filing fees for any of the mental health filings.

Petitions to Determine Incapacity are filed in conjunction with Petitions for Appointment of Guardian, and the petitioner is required to be represented by an attorney. Petitions for Adult Protective Services are filed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and are usually filed on behalf of an elderly person.

Baker Act Procedures
Ex Parte procedures for Baker Act cases consist of a layperson, such as a family member or at least three (3) nonrelatives, filing a petition with the court to have someone taken into a mental health facility for evaluation and treatment. The person for which treatment is being sought is referred to as the “respondent.”

The clerk will complete an “Order for Emergency Admission” or an “Ex Parte Order for Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization,” and submit it the judge for his or her review and signature. Once the judge has signed the order, certified copies are taken to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office for service on the respondent, and for their office to deliver said respondent to the appropriate facility for treatment.

Substance Abuse Case Procedures
Ex Parte procedures for Substance Abuse cases consist of a layperson, such as a family member or at least three (3) nonrelatives, filing a Petition with the court. The Petition is submitted to the Court for review. Once the judge has signed the Order and set the court date for appearance by the respondent, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office will serve the respondent with said Order.


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