The Baker Act, Florida Mental Health Act of 1971, is primarily for mental illness and is used for involuntary commitment to a psychiatric facility for up to 72 hours when someone appears to be a danger to themselves or others. It allows for involuntary commitment and examination of an individual who possibly has a mental illness or is a threat to self or others, or is self-neglectful. The Baker Act can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officials, physicians or mental health professionals.
The Marchman Act is used for involuntary assessment and treatment for chemical dependency/substance abuse. To invoke the Marchman Act, a spouse, blood relative, physician or any three people who have direct knowledge of a person’s substance abuse can petition the courts for mandatory assessment and treatment of someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol and appears to be a danger to themselves or others. The petition allows for an initial assessment.