Can you get my loved one out tonight?
Hello, everyone! It’s Mark, and welcome to another edition of our video newsletter. In this video, I want to talk about the Baker Act.
I got a call at 8:30 this evening, and it was from a mother whose 14-year-old son had been taken to a Baker Act facility. She was understandably upset when she called me. She was experiencing the things that many of the clients we work with tell us.
No one was telling her what was going on. It’s either the facility wants to give her child medications, or the facility doesn’t give her the medication she’s supposed to be getting. These are just some of the many traumatic things that families experience when the loved one has been baker acted. She told me, “I want you to get her out, and I want you to get her out right now, this evening.” This is when I explain to her how this works. “I can file something this evening.” I’ve stayed up until midnight, filing these cases for families, because I know that time is of the essence. Time is critical with the Baker Act case because these cases are typically won or lost by whoever gets to the courthouse first. If the facility gets there first, it’s going to be an uphill battle to get your loved one out.
First of all, as a lawyer, I cannot make guarantees. I know some of you have called me saying that you want a guarantee if you’re going to pay me. I’ve been a lawyer for 27 years, and I have never given a family any guarantee because I’m not allowed to. I can give you an opinion based on my experience and training and all the cases we’ve handled, but I’m not going to guarantee you. It’s simply not going to happen because It’s unethical. You should run away from any lawyer that gives you a guarantee because it’s not appropriate.
What I said to the mom was, “Look, I can file something tonight.” which means it’s going to get reviewed by a judge first thing in the morning. I will place the facility on notice on the evening of the lawsuit, and give them notice first thing in the morning. But here’s the deal, if you don’t take action tonight or perhaps tomorrow morning, then there’s an opportunity for the facility to take action. By then, your child’s not getting out potentially for the next six months. She decided she wanted to think about it, which I understand since it’s a big commitment to hiring a lawyer to do this. The thing is, we move fast here. I will move heaven and earth to get your loved one out. I think we do these cases better than anybody else. I’ve had people out within an hour or two of filing a lawsuit. But sometimes, the cases drag on for a couple of days, and sometimes judges take their time. Sometimes judges will even set a hearing, and that’s just the way it is. I wish I could wave a wand and get your loved one out, I wish I could. Sometimes it happens, not with the wand, but within an hour or two.
If you call me after hours, I’ll do whatever I can to help you. However, I can’t give you any guarantee that your loved one is going to get out this evening. If I file in the evening, or first thing in the morning, then maybe they’re going to be out by the end of the day.
With that said, it was a great question. I love sharing this stuff with you. Keep sending me your questions and emailing me, and I’ll make these videos for you.
Take care of yourselves. Be well, and stay safe.