Hal S. Marchman and the Marchman Act

The Marchman Act is a law, specific to Florida, also known as The Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act of 1993 which provides an individual with needed substance abuse services and voluntary or involuntary assessment and treatment for a person abusing alcohol or drugs. Until 1993, Florida had two statutes regulating substance abuse and addiction. The two statutes were combined to address issues relating to voluntary and involuntary admissions. Many people with addictions abuse more than one substance and Reverend Hal S. Marchman is recognized for his hard work advocating for services for substance abusers.

The Marchman Act is considered a progressive law regarding alcohol and drug rehabilitation since it assists a spouse, blood relative or any three people with direct knowledge of the person’s substance abuse to get their loved one into a court-ordered-and-monitored detox and long-term treatment when they will not do it themselves. The Marchman Act is so progressive, many people try whatever they can to get their loved one to Florida. Once here, they can be court-ordered into a treatment program regardless of the state they live in.

Involuntary Assessment and Treatment

  • Can be a court or non-court admission.
  • The abuser has lost all power of self-control with respect to the substance.
  • Has inflicted or is likely to inflict physical harm on themselves or others.
  • Is in need of services, however, due to substance abuse impairment is unable to make a rational decision to seek them.

 The Marchman Act Process 

  1. File a petition for Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization. This petition states that you want to have a person assessed and stabilized.
  2. A hearing is set before the court.
  3. The individual may be held for five days following the hearing. It is during this time that a medical stabilization and assessment is conducted.
  4. A recommendation is made to the court.
  5. A petition for treatment must be filed with the court.
  6. A second hearing is held where the court reviews the assessment and recommendation.
  7. Based on the recommendation, a judge can order a 60 day treatment period with a possible 90-day extension.
  8. If the addict violated the judge’s order to seek treatment, they must return to court to answer to judge explaining their noncompliance.
  9. The addict will be held in civil contempt of court for the not following the treatment order. They will be ordered to return to treatment or be incarcerated.

Family Law Attorney Palm Beach Gardens

The Firm of Paul J. Burkhart

The Marchman Act carries real consequences and hiring a law firm such as Paul J. Burkhart’s can expedite the entire process. Paul J. Burkhart can file a sworn petition that demonstrates the need for your loved one to receive an immediate substance abuse assessment and treatment. This can be court-ordered in as little as 24-48 hours. In addition to expediting the process, Paul J. Burkhart can ensure greater success of gaining court-ordered treatment due to their knowledge of the civil procedures.

An experienced attorney such as Paul J. Burkhart can prevent the filings from being dismissed since many Marchman Act filings are dismissed on technicalities even if the addict meets all the criteria necessary to file for the Marchman Act. An attorney is especially essential for you to win your case since the addict you are desiring treatment for will have an attorney assigned to them fighting to get their case dismissed. Paul J. Burkthart’s firm has the years of experience necessary to achieve the result you want: an assessment and treatment for your loved one who is addicted to substances.

Our team assists both individual and business clients with all their legal needs. This includes Business and Corporate Transactions, Business/Commercial and Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, Family Law, and Estate Planning matters. We are a full-service private law firm ready to assist you with any request, large or small. Call 561-880-0155 or visit our website.


Law Offices of Paul J Burkhart, PL
800 Village Square Crossing
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

Phone: (561) 880-0155


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