General Opinion by a Marchman Act/Baker Act lawyer from the Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tampa area.
The Marchman Act falls under Florida Chapter 397. (A link to the official site for the Florida legislature is provide at the bottom). Marchman Act attorneys are rare! This is because Marchman act cases fall between the criminal world and the civil world. Why? Because, it is a civil style case that contains involuntary commitment and there are not many attorneys that practice in both arenas. When fighting against the Marchman, most of our wins come from procedural technicalities, mostly based on jurisdictional issues. The procedural guidelines are very technical, and with 57 pages + of legislature it is a lot of information to take in. Moreover, Marchman Act court in and of itself can be very intimidated. In this arena its as if the Judge is the Prosecutor/Plaintiff, the Judge (again), the jury, and what may seem like the executioner. You will be appointed counsel, but most of the time you won't even get to speak to your counsel or even know who your counsel is until you are in front of the judge. Then before you can blink, you are committed under the Marchman. We see this a lot, especially in the Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tampa areas. At that point it will feel like it is you against the world. Feel free to call anytime and talk to lawyer who will listen. We are happy to discuss your options free of charge. We are here to help!
Tampa Bay Area: (727) 697 - 7257
Miami Area: (305) 204 - 0411
Mindrup & Samole, PLLC