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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.

Risk Protection Order

In 2018, The Florida Legislature passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act in response to a tragic school shooting. The law is designed to enhance public safety by restricting firearm and ammunition possession by a person who poses a danger to himself or herself or others.

What can you do if you believe someone poses a danger to himself or herself or others if he or she has access to firearms or ammunition?

You can contact your local police department or sheriff’s office and provide them with the information you have. They may seek a risk protection order from a court under section 790.401 Florida statutes. You will need to provide law enforcement with information that you know about the person, his or her mental health condition, any threats or acts of violence that were made, any other facts that raise a concern for safety. Law enforcement will need a description of the type of firearm(s) and ammunition in the possession of the person you are concerned about.

What you can do to help the process?

Risk Protection Order Forms

Forms and Self Help

The Clerk’s Office is unable to provide legal advice or assistance.

To assist you, below you will find forms and legal resources. For further assistance, please visit the Self Help Equal Access Center - Law Library, where Law Librarians are available to assist you in locating forms and legal resources.

  • Self Help Equal Access Center - Law Library
    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
    7:30 am - 3:30 pm
    Excluding Courthouse Holidays

Visit our Law Library located on the first floor of the North Wing of the Courthouse to find:

  • Additional forms including Family, Landlord/Tenant, Criminal, Probate and Guardianship, Traffic, and much more
  • Photocopy machines, computers, and Wi-Fi
  • Print materials, online databases and resources, self-help publications, Westlaw and Lexis
  • Comfortable, quiet work areas
  • Law Librarians available to direct you to resources related to your legal information needs

Fees and Costs

VALID FORMS OF PAYMENT — Cash, Cashier’s Check, Bank Official Check, Money Order, Attorney Trust Account check, or American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit cards. (Proper identification is required when paying in person by credit card.)


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

  • 3rd Floor, Room: 03160

  •  954-831-5648
  •  954-831-5646

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

    Excluding Holidays