CASA would like to present this section about the Florida Mental Health Act, most commonly known as the Baker Act, in order to provide the public with information on what the act is and what the public should do if presented in these particular situations.
The Baker Act is a Florida Statute that was passed in 1971. The act serves to provide the public with a means to protect their surroundings; this is done by having people who are believed to have a psychiatric problem picked up by authorities and taken to a crisis stabilization unit for a psychiatric evaluation.
Note that the examination is involuntary, and is completely based off behavioral traits expressed by the individual that appear dangerous to themselves or the individual’s surroundings. The behavioral traits are observed by the petitioner, the individual who requested for the evaluation of the observed person, and this person must have information such as date of birth, height, weight and address in order to make a legitimate petition to the courts. The courts will then give the order, if the petition seems valid, to have the individual picked up and taken to the nearest stabilization unit.
CASA would like for our visitors to watch this interview with our President of the Board of the Directors, Edward Montoya, about a special case regarding the Baker Act in South Florida, where a “Baker Acted” hospital patient, killed another patient he shared a room with.
For more information about the Baker Act, please feel welcome to follow the Miami-Dade County, Clerk of Courts site on the Baker Act.