Welcome to Talmadge Law Firm
Feel your legal rights have been abused during a Baker Act in Florida? Need an experienced Baker Act lawyer who only works on these cases. We begin working immediately using remote technology. We assure confidentiality.
The Baker Act went into effect in Florida as a result of numerous concerns about the civil rights of people in psychiatric hospitals. When you or someone you love (even a child) is confined for involuntary psychiatric examination in Florida, they have rights and the length of time they may be held is limited.
While I am a Baker Act lawyer, I also am a Ph.D. psychologist, I have had experience as part of the medical staff of numerous hospitals. Additionally, I worked for the public defender’s office which typically receives automatic appointments for patients to have a lawyer for the Baker Act when a facility files a petition for involuntary treatment.
–Understanding of Patient Rights
Thanks to my extensive background as a psychologist and a Baker Act lawyer, I have an in-depth knowledge of mental illness and the rights of patients and their families. I have experience with the requirements for discharge, how long a Florida facility may hold a patient, and experience getting people who were improperly confined released. As a lawyer, I have continued to focus strictly on Baker Act patients in my practice.
Whether your concerns pertain to the criteria law enforcement used or a criteria that a physician used, or your concern is how the facility is handling the admission, you need a Baker Act lawyer. We are here to serve as an advocate for you or your loved one.
Whether you need help having a patient discharged, or you have been informed by the facility that they are requesting an involuntary confinement, a Baker Act lawyer can help. Contact Talmadge Law Firm immediately with any Baker Act question or concerns or if you feel there was a civil rights violation during any part of the process of evaluating you or your loved one.
In need of help from a Baker Act lawyer?
The Baker Act was initiated over 200,000 times in recent years. About 36,000 initiations involved a child. No lawyer was involved for help at this stage of the Baker Act. A lawyer from the Public Defender’s office only gets involved in a Baker Act to help after a receiving facility files a petition for continued treatment. In most Baker Act cases, no lawyer is involved to help guarantee your rights are observed. Many Baker Act initiations are wrongful. Baker Act initiation is different than the facility filing a petition.
What is a Baker Act?
The Florida Mental Health Act, “Baker Act,” allows the involuntary examination of individuals based on mental illness and “reason to believe” there is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself or herself or others in the near future. The Baker Act can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officers, or mental health professionals. It is most often initiated by law enforcement or ER doctors. Once initiated, a person’s status is involuntary regardless of whether they sought help voluntarily. At the point of initiation of a Baker Act examination, no attorney is involved. You need a Baker Act lawyer. Don’t wait until the facility files a petition (“32) before you get a lawyer.
The Baker Act is governed by Florida law. People get a Baker Act anywhere in Florida, even if the person is visiting from out of state. Often, a family takes the individual or their child to an ER for help and/or law enforcement intervenes. Many initiations are wrongful because the criteria are not met. Although Baker Act times to begin an examination are different for a child, most requirements for an adult and a child are the same.
Contrary to the original goal to help those involved, individuals are taken to a psychiatric receiving facility against wishes. Once a Baker Act occurs, individuals are not free to leave and no one can simply “take them home” until the receiving facility decides to discharge them. If the receiving facility files a petition with a court to keep the patient, it can hold him/her longer for a hearing. Then a judge will decide. By then it may be too late.
Often, Baker Act initiation is either wrongful and/or unfair. Conflicting information is given about “voluntary” or involuntary status, competence, medication, restraint, seclusion, communication, medical records, transfer, or firearm rights. Sometimes, a stranger rather than a family member or friend is asked to make decisions about treatment. In some Baker Act cases, a person might even be considered a voluntary patient after signing one of several papers given in a stack of documents they are given to sign. To “add insult to injury,” the patient will also have fees charged by the receiving facility/hospital. Sometimes you will not be told whether the patient is there! “I can’t confirm or deny….”
LATEST NEWS & TESTIMONIALS
Baker Act and Treatment If your significant other has mental health problems, it’s important to…
Baker Acts and schools I often get calls about children being taken from school because…
Frequent calls are a request to help when a loved one is disabled due to…
During this Coronavirus, we have all been experiencing more stress than usual and have had…
“SIGNING VOLUNTARY” An issue when faced with whether to “sign voluntary” arises when deciding if…
ONE OF THE BEST !!!Easy to talk to, Thorough, Honest, Timely, Fair, Persistent, Knowledgeable. Satisfactorily resolved our dispute with a large Corporation for a very reasonable attorney fee. Highly recommend.Larry (Avvo)
Experience, Professional and CourteousAttorney Talmadge was very knowledgable and helpful when he took our case. He was up to date on the law and the procedures to follow through. He gave excellent advice and I would definitely use him again. His honesty and integrity were a big plus too!Sherry (Avvo)
Attorney Stephen Talmadge ReviewI recently used the legal services of Stephen Talmadge. I was extremely pleased with his services and results. Mr. Talmadge diligence, expertise, communication and fees were excellent. He was a guiding light through a difficult time.Anonymous (Avvo)
Responsive attorney with resultsMr. Talmadge helped us with a very sensitive situation and immediately provided us with relief with his knowledge and confidence. At every point along the way he was in touch with us with advice and taking action. He delivered as promised and we strongly recommend him.Kathryn (Avvo)
Best baker act lawyer availableThis man is truly professional. He provided help when my family needed it the most. Thank you dr Talmadge.Anonymous (Avvo)
Highly RecommendedDr. Talmadge was essential in reaching a resolution to our issue. He made himself available even over the weekend and relentlessly worked on the case until it was resolved – which took just over 24 hours from hiring him. I highly recommend his services. The cost was very reasonable and we were very pleased with his professionalism, competence, and how he made himself available to answer all of the – many – questions we had. My family and I are very thankful to him.Camilla (Avvo)
Best in the businessI am a survivor of abuse by a dangerous local behavioral health center. This health center is under investigation and has a long history of lives lost to its abuses. If not for Mr. Talmadge I don’t think that I would be alive right now.Emily (Avvo)
I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Talmadge is an asset to the legal community and comes highly recommended.Attorney Endorsement (Avvo)
I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Talmadge knows far more about the Baker Act laws than any attorney I know. His Avvo answers on this issue are simply superb.Attorney Endorsement (Avvo)
Dr. Talmage call me regarding a client of mine who has been Baker acted. I was impressed with his extreme degree of professionalism, personality, knowledge and experience in this field. He was able to help me with my client and provided excellent path forward to the best results for her. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate having another attorney like this one who works this hard and cares as much about the people he serves. He really reaffirms my belief that there are really good lawyers out there.Attorney Endorsement (Avvo)
Steve is excellent in assisting folks who are involved in Baker Act/Mental Health type proceedings and issues. Highly recommended as he knows his stuff!Attorney Endorsement (Avvo)
Fill out the form below to recieve a confidential intial consultation.