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Mental Health

The Mental Health Department maintains the records on involuntary  placements related to mental illness, drug abuse, developmentally disabled, tuberculosis, adult protective services, adjudication of incapacitated persons, restoration of capacity for persons having previously been declared incapacitated, and preneed guardians. Please read the information brochure for an explanation of the filing process and what to expect.
The majority of files maintained in the Mental Health Department are confidential and exempt from public access.

Mental Health FAQs

What are my options for obtaining customer service from the Clerk's office?

Mail: P.O. Box 3360, Tampa, FL 33601-3360
Email: Contact us
Phone: (813) 276-8100
In person: Downtown Tampa

How do I view Mental Health file?

Electronic viewing of many court records, indexes and dockets as well as non-confidential document images is currently available on our Hillsborough Online Viewing of Electronic Records (HOVER) site, as authorized by the Florida Supreme Court. Pursuant to Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, access to all electronic and other court records shall be governed by the Standards for Access to Electronic Court Records and Access Security Matrix. Please note that the majority of files maintained in the Mental Health Department are confidential and exempt from public access.

If you are authorized under Florida Rules of Judicial Administration to view a court file but are unable to view it online and/or you need a copy, you may view or pick up a copy of the file at our Tampa Edgecomb or Plant City locations. To allow adequate time for redaction processing, it may take four business days for your file to be available for on-site viewing and/or pick-up.

What general services are provided by the Mental Health Department?

The Mental Health Department assists in filing pleadings related to Mental Health by providing information to general public, attorneys and other agencies on general court procedures. Copy, certify, and conform copies of court orders and documents. Assists the general public and governmental agencies in researching records through the use of computer, microfiche, and microfilm.

How does the Mental Health Department help Hospitals?

Filing Involuntary Placement Petitions, setting hearing dates and accept writ of habeas corpus being filed.

How does the Mental Health Department help DCF?

Filing various petitions related to Mental Health such as: Developmental Disabilities Placement, Treatment/Hospitalization for Tuberculosis, Adult Protective Services, scheduling court hearings, Issuing Subpoenas and Notices of Hearings.

How does the Mental Health Department help Attorneys?

Filing various petitions related to Mental Health such as Petitions to Determine Incapacity, and Restoration of Capacity, setting hearing dates, issuing subpoenas and Notices of Hearing. Screening court files, documents and pleadings to determine that all necessary procedural steps have been taken prior to presentation to the Court for hearings and execution of orders.

What is a Risk Protection Order?

Florida Statute 790.401 Risk Protection Orders was signed into law March 2018. A Petition for Risk Protection Order can only be filed by a Law Enforcement Agency. There are no fees associated with the filing of these cases. The petition is reviewed by the court within 1 business day of filing. The court may determine, based on the information contained in the petition, to issue a Temporary Risk Protection Order and schedule a full hearing within 14 days.

A petition must:

  1. Allege that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others by having a firearm or any ammunition in his or her custody or control or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or any ammunition, and must be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath stating the specific statements, actions, or facts that give rise to a reasonable fear of significant dangerous acts by the respondent.
  2. Identify the quantities, types, and locations of all firearms and ammunition the petitioner believes to be in the respondent’s current ownership, possession, custody, or control.
  3. Identify whether there is a known existing protection order governing the respondent under s. 741.30, s. 784.046, or s. 784.0485 or under any other applicable statute.


How can I ask the court to vacate a Risk Protection Order against me?

To have a Risk Protection Order vacated, the respondent may submit one written request for a hearing to vacate a risk protection order issued under this section, starting after the date of the issuance of the order, and may request another hearing after every extension of the order, if any.

I am a member of law enforcement. How do I file a Petition for Risk Protection?

Petitions for Risk Protection can be filed by members of law enforcement through the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal. You must first register with the Clerk as a Law Enforcement Agency. A Law Enforcement Agency Registration Form must be completed and submitted to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

What forms are provided by the Mental Health Department?

See Mental Health Forms for more information.

What type of petitions are filed in the Mental Health Department?

Tuberculosis Control Act - F.S. 392 
This petition is filed by Department of Children and Families to control the highly contagious infection of Tuberculosis when infected persons are refusing to take appropriate measures.

Developmentally Disabled - F.S. 393 
This petition is filed by Department of Children and Families when the subject reaches the age of majority and is being placed in a state monitored residential setting.

Petition for Involuntary Examination on Exparte (Baker Act)- F.S. 394.463 
This petition can be filed by a person(s) who has firsthand knowledge of the situation. The purpose of this petition is to initiate the Baker Act procedure for emergency pickup and evaluation for persons who are mentally ill and refuse to seek treatment and are a danger to themselves and/or others.

Writ of Habeas Corpus - F.S. 394.459 
This petition is filed by a person detained in a hospital, their relative, friend, guardian, representative, or attorney on their behalf. A writ is filed when a person detained in a receiving or treatment facility alleges that they are being unjustly denied a right or privilege. This petition requires immediate attention upon receipt by the Court.

Involuntary Placement and Placement Certificate - F.S. 394.467 
This petition is filed by an administrator or designee of a designated Baker Act facility. The petition is filed when a person is determined to be a danger to themselves or others, and are in need of hospitalization.

Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization (Marchman Act) - F.S. 397 
The purpose of this petition is to obtain a court order for substance abuse assessment and stabilization when the respondent has refused to voluntarily receive care. There are specific requirements to filing this petition and the Mental Health department is able to explain these further.

Adult Protective Services - F.S. 415 
These petitions are filed by the Department of Children and Families when the Department has reason to believe a disabled or elderly adult is being abused, neglected, self-neglect, or exploited and the person lacks the capacity to consent to service being provided. A court order allows the Department to provide services.

Determination of Incapacity - F.S. 744.3201 
These petitions are filed when a person is alleged to be incapacitated mentally and/or physically. The purpose of the petition is to have the person evaluated and a determination made as to whether the alleged incapacitated person is capable of retaining all of or certain legal rights. This petition must be filed in conjunction with a Petition for Guardianship.

Declaration for Preneed Guardian - F.S. 744.3045 
Preneeds are used to appoint a guardian to serve in the event of the declarant’s incapacity. The written declaration must be signed by the declarant in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses at the same time. The declaration may be filed by the declarant with the Clerk of Circuit Court. The Court shall not be bound to appoint the preneed guardian if the presumption is rebutted by clear and convincing evidence that the preneed guardian will assume the duties of the guardian immediately upon an adjudication of incapacity.

Suggestion of Capacity - F.S. 744.464 
The ward or any interested party may file this petition requesting all or certain rights be restored.

Involuntary Treatment (Marchman Act) - F.S. 397 
The purpose of this petition is to obtain a court order for involuntary treatment of substance abuse when the Respondent is not willing to go. There are specific requirements to filing this petition and the Mental Health department is able to explain these further.

How do I petition a Hillsborough County Court to involuntarily send a subject to a crisis stabilization unit (Baker Act)?

The Baker Act Law can be found at sections 394.451 - 394.4789 , Florida Statutes. These proceedings address mental health issues, not substance abuse issues. This statutory process is in place to help those who may be harmful to themselves or others. Subjects, who do not voluntarily admit themselves into a crisis stabilization unit, can be transported to a crisis stabilization unit for an involuntary psychiatric examination.
To petition a Hillsborough County Court to involuntarily send a subject to a crisis stabilization unit, a petitioner may come to the Mental Health Department of the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court, located at 800 East Twiggs Street, Edgecomb Courthouse, Room # 205, Tampa, FL 33602, to fill out a petition packet. There is no filing fee for this petition packet. The petition must meet the following criteria:

  1. The petitioner must have observed the behavior of the subject;
  2. The petitioner must know the address, date of birth, and age of the subject;
  3. The petitioner must have a valid, signed, photo identification of herself/himself.
  4. The subject must be in/reside in Hillsborough County;
  5. The subject must not be in a hospital or jail.

A judge, only after making a determination that the petition meets all necessary criteria, may sign an Ex Parte Order on Petition for Involuntary Examination (Ex Parte Order). If an Ex Parte Order is signed, Clerk employees will then prepare a packet for the Office of the Hillsborough County Sheriff. A certified copy of the Ex Parte Order will be a part of the packet. The Ex Parte Order gives a Deputy Sheriff the authority to pick-up the subject, and to transport the subject to a receiving facility for an evaluation.