Mental Health


Mental Health cases generally are confidential and therefore information regarding these cases are not provided on this website or over the phone system. The laws surrounding mental illness are outlined in Florida Statutes 392-395 and Florida Statute 397.

Mental Health

Baker Act/Ex-Parte

Baker Act/Ex-parte is for anyone who is mentally ill and is unable to understand their need for stabilization and/or treatment. Anyone who has witnessed action of the said individual and feels that he's a threat to himself or someone else may come to our office and complete a sworn affidavit stating the said person's actions.

Marchman Act

Marchman Act is for anyone who has a chemical or alcohol addiction. Any one family member or any adult who has direct personal knowledge of the respondent’s substance abuse impairment may file a Petition for Assessment or Treatment of said individual and should come to our office in person to complete the petitions.

Incapacity and Suggestion of Capacity

Incapacity Proceeding

Incapacity Proceeding is for anyone who is an adult that became incapacitated after birth. By Florida Law, this procedure requires an attorney.

Suggestion of Capacity (Restoration to Capacity) Proceeding

Suggestion of Capacity (Restoration to Capacity) Proceeding is for anyone who was previously determined to be Incapacitated and has recovered their capacity and is currently capable of exercising some or all the rights which were removed. Any interested person, including the ward, may file a suggestion of capacity.

Developmental Disabilities (Guardian Advocate)

A Developmentally Disabled (Guardian Advocate) Proceeding is for any adult that has a developmental disability from birth. This process can be done with or without an attorney. The guardian appointed on these cases must follow the same rules/requirements that apply to guardians under Florida Statute 744.

Assistance with Forms


Assistance with Forms - Please visit the Law Library Self Help Equal Access Center.

  • Central Courthouse
    Judicial Complex, North Wing

  • 1st Floor, Room: 1800
    201 S.E. 6th Street
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
     Directions To This Location

  •  954-831-6226

  • Monday - Friday
    8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Excluding Holidays

Comfortable work areas, internet, wi-fi, Westlaw, Lexis, print materials and additional forms covering many topics including, but not limited to: Summary Administration; Formal Administration; Homestead; Motions; Affidavits; Caveats; Waivers; Consents; Adversary Actions

The Law Library is open to the public and Law Librarians are available to offer assistance in locating legal resources and forms.

Fees and Costs

VALID FORMS OF PAYMENTCash, Cashier’s Check, Bank Official Check, Money Order, or Attorney Trust Account check.


No Fees or Court Costs are associated with the following:

  • Backer Act/Ex-parte
  • Marchman Act
Petition for Determination of Incapacity $231.00
Petition for Suggestion of Capacity $231.00
Petition for Guardian Advocate Person Only $236.00
Petition for Guardian Advocate Person and Property $401.00

Frequently Asked Questions

Glossary of Terms

AttorneyAppointed or retained by another to transact business for him or her.
Attorney For PetitionerAn attorney for a person who has filed a petition.
Also Known As (AKA)An alias name.
Court Appointed CounselAn attorney appointed by the Court to represent the respondent, alleged incapacitated person or ward in a case.
Change of VenueMoving a case to another Country, County or State.
Developmentally DisabledA physical, cognitive, or emotional impairment, often caused by a neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy or autism spectrum disorder, that appears early in life and limits a person's ability to learn, communicate, or perform one or more activities of daily life.
Ex-ParteOn behalf of only one party, without notice to any other party.
General MagistratesJudicial officers appointed by the Court to hear testimony and make reports which, when approved by the presiding judge, become the decision of the Court.
GuardianA person appointed by will or by law to assume responsibility for incompetent adults or minor children. Legal right given to a person to be responsible for a person or property of a person deemed incapable of providing these necessities for him/her.
Habeas CorpusA writ used as a means to bring a person before the court to determine whether he/she is being detained unlawfully.
IndigentA party who is financially unable to pay filing fees, and other due process costs.
VenueThe place or county where a legal matter arises and must be heard.
WitnessA person who gives evidence in a case.


Contact Information

  • Central Courthouse
    Judicial Complex, West Building
    (Mental Health)

  • 201 S.E. 6th Street
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
     Directions To This Location

  • 2rd Floor, Room: 03160

  •  954-831-5648
  •  954-831-5646

  • Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

    Excluding Holidays