Common Questions About the Legal Guide

Common questions about
The Marchman Act Legal Guide

The “Marchman Act” is the name for Florida Statute 397. The statute is the involuntary commitment statute used to compel those suffering from substance abuse (and also that maybe be suffering from both substance abuse and a mental health issue) to engage in treatment. For more detailed information please go to: www.marchmanactinfo.com

The legal guide includes all the procedural information, legal guidance and current forms so the DIY Petitioner can be successful from beginning to end.

The Legal Guide is a one-time payment of $299.95. A fraction of the fee for a Marchman Act attorney. Once purchased you will have access at any time and for one year to the Legal Guide and all forms.

Should you wish to seek additional guidance after your purchase you can call ARLS and schedule a time to speak with an experienced attorney. You should schedule and have the consultation before you actually file your initial petition. ARLS’s case specific regular hourly consultation rate is $600.00. If you have purchased the Legal Guide the consultation rate will be reduced to $450.00 for up to one hour. Our attorney will look at your drafted forms, answer any questions you may have and provide any legal advice needed.


We provide easy-to-follow procedural, step-by-step, instructions and guidance, not only for drafting of the necessary forms and pleadings (involuntary assessment and stabilization petitions, involuntary treatment/services petitions, extension petitions, and contempt motions) but also for dealing with the court, the clerks, and law enforcement.

Generally, most jurisdictions in Florida require the do-it-yourself petitioner (pro se petitioner) to go to the clerk of the court’s office with the filed-out forms or plead for filing. However, if you cannot do so you should call the clerk of the court in the county in which you must file and ask for an electronic filing alternative. 

You should start at the beginning! Read everything; especially pages 1-8. The information before the specific instructions to fill out the forms or pleading provides an essential general knowledge of the overall Marchman Act process.