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What is the “extended” Baker Act?

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Hello! It’s Mark, and welcome back. In this video, I want to talk about the concept of the “extended Baker Act.”

I’ve been talking to a number of people recently who told me that they were involuntarily taken to a Baker Act facility and right before the 72-hour clock expired when they should have either been released or the facility should file to keep them. The facility has told them they had extended their Baker Act.

So I’m here to tell you that the quote, extended Baker Act, is a term made up by a Baker Act facility. It simply doesn’t exist. There’s nothing in the statute about an extended Baker Act. It doesn’t work that way.

If you are there involuntarily or against your will, the facility has up to 72 hours to assess and stabilize you. Once the 72 hours clock has expired, one or two things need to happen. They either need to let you go or file a petition with the court asking a judge for permission to keep you longer than 72 hours. Once they file that petition, you’re going to be held until the hearing takes place.

In theory, you could be held another three, four, or five days until the judge hears your case. But the whole idea that the facility is to automatically or of their own volition extend your Baker Act, that is a total, for lack of word, BS. It’s simply not true. They don’t have that authority, but because you were there and you don’t have access to a lawyer, and you don’t know what’s really going on, they tell you we’ve extended your Baker Act. It doesn’t exist, and it’s not right. And if you have a loved one in the facility and had their Baker Act “extended” unless a judge extended it, we should talk right away.

With that said, thanks for tuning in. See you in the next video.

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