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Marchman Act

The Marchman Act unlike the Baker Act is not a widely known statute or proceeding; however in certain circumstances, it can be highly effective and an appropriate course of action.

The Marchman Act is used to obtain a court order to provide for involuntary assessment, stabilization, and treatment for a person who is in need of substance abuse treatment and has refused services on their own.

It is a two step process, one for assessment and the other for treatment. The goal is to determine whether a person should be subject to an involuntary order requiring substance abuse assessment and or treatment.

The basis for filing a Petition includes, that a person meets the criteria for involuntary admission: (a) there is a good faith reason to believe the person is substance abuse-impaired, (b) because of such impairment that person has lost the power of self-control with respect to the substance abuse and (c) either has inflicted, threatened or attempted to inflict, or has admitted to likely inflict physical harm on him or herself or another or is in need of substance abuse services and by reason of substance abuse impairment his or her judgment has been so impaired that the person is incapable of appreciating his or her need for such services and making a rational decision in regard thereto.

Mere refusal to receive services does not constitute evidence of lack of judgment with respect to his or her need for services.

Persons who have standing to file a petition are a spouse or guardian, relative or any three people who are responsible adults and have personal knowledge of the persons substance abuse impairment.

In the case of a minor, a parent, legal guardian or legal custodian or licensed service provider may file.