Marchman Act Blog: A Family Guide to the Florida Marchman Act - Response to Reader Question
Once a Marchman petition is taken out on an adult who is responsible for finding placement beyond stabilization and evaluation? How long does the state have to enforce placement? Thursday, September 02, 2010
Let me answer your question in two parts. First, re: placement. It is very important to understand that the Marchman Act process consists of two parts: (1) Petitioning the Court to Order someone to have an assessment and stabilization (a detox); and, (following this assessment) (2) Petitioning the Court to Order someone into treatment. That being said - once a a person is actually Ordered by the Court into a treatment facility, they can go to either a private or public facility. In the case of placement into a private facility, the Petitioners are responsible to secure a detox and treatment bed (location) for the Respondent. Since they have chosen to pay for the Respondent's detox and treatment out of their own pocket, they must secure the actual location. In the case of placement into a public facility (whereby the Petitioners are not paying for the Respondent's care), the Respondent will be Ordered to go to a community facility. It should be noted that typically every court has certain facilities they utilize for indigent Respondents (those without money). Accordingly, the Respondent will be Ordered to appear at that public or community facility for intake assessment, detox and subsequent care by the court. Again, typically, these facilities exist in each community and operate on a sliding scale basis in order to reduce the cost of care for those who have a financial hardship. However, this may not be the case in your community, and it is a valid question for the court - "Where will the Respondent be Ordered for care?" In sum, placement can be secured privately or publicly.
Now, I will attempt to answer your second question: "How long does the state have to enforce placement?"
In short, as long as an "Order for Assessment, Stabilization and/or Treatment" is in place - that Order can be enforced. Accordingly, if a Respondent is found to be in violation of the court 's Order they can face court sanctions; including, civil contempt (whereby the Respondent is facing jail time until which time they chose to abide by the court Order). However, it is NOT...I must repeat this...it is NOT the responsibility of the "State" to enforce placement. I cannot stress this enough: whomever files the petition (as a Petitioner), they have the responsibility of enforcing that court Order. The Court and the State are not parties in this matter, only the Petitioner (the one bringing the Petition) and the Respondent (the person who is impaired). I hope this helps.