Patients who are admitted to facilities under the jurisdiction of the Baker Act have specific rights. These rights include access to their own belongings, the ability to contact family members, and the right to have legal counsel informed.
Intervention methods which are used on patients must be the least restrictive type required to maintain the safety of the patient. Abuses which occur from the time of contact with law enforcement or medical personnel up through the time of the patient’s discharge from a facility should result in an appropriate complaint being filed. Since a patient has certain rights, regardless of their need for treatment, these rights must be upheld at all times.
Within 72 hours of admission, an adult who has been admitted under the Baker Act must receive a full evaluation or be released from the facility. Within 12 hours of admission, a minor who has been admitted under the Baker Act must receive a full evaluation. If the evaluation determines the person needs further mental health services, they may be asked to submit to them voluntarily or the facility may petition for involuntary services if they refuse.
If you feel you have been denied your rights, you have been detained unfairly, or you have refused voluntary services and the facility is petitioning the court for involuntary commitment, contact Talmadge Law Firm immediately for assistance. The firm has a deep understanding of the Baker Act.