Baker Act: Ex Parte Information

The Baker Act (Florida Mental Health Act) may be implemented when a person’s mental health condition deteriorates as to require immediate examination and meets the following criteria:
 1.     The person will cause serious bodily harm to self or others in the near future, as evidenced by recent behavior
 2.     The person has refused voluntary examination or is unable to determine whether examination is necessary.
 3.     The person, without care or treatment, is likely to suffer from neglect resulting in real and present threat of substantial harm that can’t be avoided through the help of others.
 Involuntary Examination may be initiated by any one of three means:
 1.     A Law Enforcement Officer has reason to believe the criteria is met;
 2.     A physician and specific nurses/social workers, based on the examination of the person within the preceding 48-hours;
 3.     A Court may enter an order (ex parte), based upon sworn testimony.
 Court Contact #s and Locations:
 The Mental Health Desk or Probate Office between 8:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m. at:
 Clearwater:      315 Court Street          464-3321
 St.Petersburg: 545 – 1st Ave. N.         582-7771
 N. Pinellas:      29582 US-19 N.          464-8700
 Public Defender:         464-6516         State Attorney: 464-6221                    
 Public Defender Mental Health Unit:   464-6871
 Both are located at the Criminal Justice Center, 14250 – 49th St., Clearwater