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

The “Baker Act is the common name 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 allows an individual to be involuntary examined and institutionalized.The Baker Act allows for involuntary examination and can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officials, physicians, or mental health professionals. The two criteria that must be present is that person:

• has a mental illness (as defined in the Baker Act).

• is a harm to self, harm to others, or there is evidence of self-neglect (as defined in the Baker Act).

Mental illness” means an impairment of the mental or emotional processes that exercise conscious control of one’s actions or of the ability to perceive or understand reality, which impairment substantially interferes with the person’s ability to meet the ordinary demands of living. For the purposes of this part, the … Read More