Blog


Coronavirus and Baker Act

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During this Coronavirus, we have all been experiencing more stress than usual and have had many restrictions placed on us. It is challenging to find/see an individual who has been Baker Acted.  There has been limited or no visitation allowed in Baker Act receiving facilties in many parts of Florida.  This presents difficulties for patients’ […]

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Voluntary or involuntary

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“SIGNING VOLUNTARY” An issue when faced with whether to “sign voluntary” arises when deciding if this is the best and fastest route to discharge. Recently, a concerned parent and I discussed this issue. This parent believed that “signing voluntary” and immediately requesting discharge would necessarily result in the child seeing a physician within 24 hours who […]

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Baker Act of children

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By Kyra Gurney Of the Miami Herald Handcuffs and a psych exam for a 7-year-old? Schools do that too often, parents say. A 7-year-old at Miami’s Coral Way K-8 Center was handcuffed, put in the back of a police car and taken to a hospital for an involuntary psychiatric exam after he hit and kicked […]

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My firm and the Baker Act

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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 […]

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Baker Act initiation

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Every day someone who lives in Florida or a visitor is taken for involuntary psychiatric examination. Baker Act initiations occur so the POSSIBILITY of an adverse outcome is avoided. A Baker Act initiation often is only to avoid liability by police officers, or emergency room physicians, or mental health professionals. Many Baker Act initiations are […]

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The Child & The Baker Act

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During the five-year period between 2011 and 2016, the number of children in Florida who were subjected to A Baker Act rose by almost half. During the same time, Florida’s population rose by only 5.5 percent. Several highly-publicized cases involving young children have increased public consciousness. Florida sets no minimum age at which a child […]

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Competence & Mental Illness

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Mental illness and legal incompetence are not the same; it does not necessarily follow that all mentally ill people are legally incompetent.  Competency certification is a procedure during a Baker Act that can be misunderstood and applied unfairly. Psychiatrists at a Baker Act receiving facility certify competence. What may not be widely known is that someone can be held under a Baker Act […]

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Competence & Contracts

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An issue when faced with disputes about the meaning of words in a contract, courts may look outside the words to other evidence that speaks to the intent of the parties and whether there was truly a “meeting of the minds.” In the context of health care and informed consent, there may be issues of […]

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