My firm has a process so a person who should not be held under the Baker Act gets discharged quickly. A person should be released if the criteria for a Baker Act examination are not met. If the person has been living independently, has a support system available, and has had no prior mental health problems, he or she should not be held involuntarily under a Baker Act any longer than necessary to complete an examination. The Baker Act should not be used to force medical treatment if there is no mental illness causing dangerousness.

I begin representation instantly and take steps to obtain discharge. If needed, I can help author and send a Department of Children and Families recommended form “Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus or for Redress of Grievances” (CF-MH 3090) to the facility. The facility is required in the governing statute to file it in the local Circuit Court where a judge will examine the involuntary detention or any legal rights of a patient that are being violated. These cases require immediate attention to obtain satisfactory outcomes.

About the Author:

 LCDR (retired) Dr. Stephen Alfred Talmadge, Jr. was awarded a Ph.D. in psychology in 1989, after which he served as a licensed clinical psychologist during his 20-year career in the Navy. In 1997, he became a Diplomate in Forensic Psychology, performing evaluations and testifying in military proceedings for all services, worldwide. Steve went to law school after his career in the Navy. Prior to becoming a law firm owner, he was an associate attorney at a private law firm and was employed by a public defender, working on cases that involved involuntary commitment in psychiatric facilities. Steve was selected as a law clerk at a U. S. Attorney’s office during law school. He is published in both psychological and legal journals.