The Department of Children and Families, in the state of Florida, lists the criteria for someone to be involuntarily committed. In Florida, this criteria is part of a statute that was passed into law by legislator, Maxine Baker. It is therefore, referred to as the “Baker Act”. Within the statute, 394.467, the criteria are listed as:
Commitment Criteria for Civil Admissions
394.467 Involuntary inpatient placement
(1) CRITERIA.–A person may be placed in involuntary inpatient placement for treatment upon a finding of the court by clear and convincing evidence that:
(a) He or she is mentally ill and because of his or her mental illness:
1.a. He or she has refused voluntary placement for treatment after sufficient and conscientious explanation and disclosure of the purpose of placement for treatment; or
b. He or she is unable to determine for himself or herself whether placement is necessary; and
2.a. He or she is manifestly incapable of surviving alone or with the help of willing and responsible family or friends, including available alternative services, and, without treatment, is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself, and such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to his or her well-being; or
b. There is substantial likelihood that in the near future he or she will inflict serious bodily harm on himself or herself or another person, as evidenced by recent behavior causing, attempting, or threatening such harm; and
(b) All available less restrictive treatment alternatives which would offer an opportunity for improvement of his or her condition have been judged to be inappropriate. (Emphasis added)
Families and individuals have the right to full information, and with that right, you have the opportunity to study the Baker Act clauses, paragraphs, sentences and concepts, so that you understand what your rights are and what your childs’ rights are in the event that they may be Baker Acted for throwing a tantrum.
Adults are not exempt from this either. A man in his 80’s who was on 5 heart medications, with FDA labeling of side effects such as irritability, was deemed “an irritable old man” by his physician and promptly involuntarily committed against his will.
Know your rights, read through the articles on the subject, the statute and call our office with any questions or concerns. 1-800-782-2878