Once the court has reviewed the petition, the respondent, after an in-person court hearing, may be court ordered to immediately go to a facility that has been pre-determined for completion of the assessment and stabilization (detox). If the court decides based on the pleadings alone (Ex-parte), the order will direct that the respondent be picked up and delivered by law enforcement to the nearest facility as ordered by the court. In some counties, the petitioner can request the respondent’s delivery after pickup to a private detox if payment arrangements have been made. The choice of which method will be employed by a petitioner representing themselves is typically not in their hands and is left to the court. The process differs from county to county. However, an experienced Marchman Act attorney can choose either method regardless of the county where the petition is filed and based on the strategy decided to be employed.
Once the respondent is in the detox facility, the treatment providers will render their assessment as ordered by the court. A respondent will be admitted for a period of five days. Should the provider be unable to complete the assessment or stabilization within the five-day period an extension for more time may be filed and requested with the court. Also, the five day period can be extended by the filing of a Services Petition and a respondent can be held until further order of the court. The provider will then have a recommendation for treatment ready to be tendered to the court. It should be noted, not all private detox facilities will render an assessment and recommendation for the court. The petitioner should inquire from the private detox provider as to whether they will render the assessment and come to court to testify if need be.
Under the Marchman Act a respondent can be ordered to either a private or public detox facility. Unless the facility has been designated as a “secure” facility as defined in the statute and licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services a respondent does have the ability to simply leave prior to the completion of the assessment and stabilization. There are only several “secure” licensed receiving facilities in Florida. Should the respondent leave and not comply with the court order they will then be exposing themselves to the consequence of incarceration via the court’s contempt power. Again, it should be noted that neither a petitioner, an attorney, the respondent, nor court officials can dictate the level of care and treatment or type of treatment the loved one in question will receive. The trained medical professionals provide their treatment recommendation and decide the level of care based on the individual aspects of your loved one’s needs. Typically, treatment can be ordered through any of the following types: Outpatient Treatment, Day-treatment, Intensive Outpatient Treatment and/or Residential Treatment. It is the obligation of the petitioner, or their attorney, to enforce the order of the court upon the respondent. If the respondent does not comply with the court’s order, a Motion seeking for the respondent to be held in contempt of court must be filed and served upon the respondent.