(1) CRITERIA.—A person may be ordered for involuntary inpatient placement for treatment upon a finding of the court by clear and convincing evidence that: (a) He or she has a mental illness and because of his or her mental illness:
1.a. He or she has refused voluntary inpatient placement for treatment after sufficient and conscientious explanation and disclosure of the purpose of inpatient placement for treatment; or
b. He or she is unable to determine for himself or herself whether inpatient placement is necessary; and
2.a. He or she is incapable of surviving alone or with the help of willing and responsible family or friends, including available alternative services, and, without treatment, is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself, and such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to his or her well-being; or
b. There is substantial likelihood that in the near future he or she will inflict serious bodily harm on self or others, as evidenced by recent behavior causing, attempting, or threatening such harm; and
(b) All available less restrictive treatment alternatives that would offer an opportunity for improvement of his or her condition have been judged to be inappropriate.
(2) ADMISSION TO A TREATMENT FACILITY.—A patient may be retained by a facility or involuntarily placed in a treatment facility upon the recommendation of the administrator of the facility where the patient has been examined and after adherence to the notice and hearing procedures provided in s. 394.4599. The recommendation must be supported by the opinion of a psychiatrist and the second opinion of a clinical psychologist or another psychiatrist, both of whom have personally examined the patient within the preceding 72 hours, that the criteria for involuntary inpatient placement are met. However, if the administrator certifies that a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist is not available to provide the second opinion, the second opinion may be provided by a licensed physician who has postgraduate training and experience in diagnosis and treatment of mental illness or by a psychiatric nurse. Any opinion authorized in this subsection may be conducted through a face-to-face examination, in person, or by electronic means. Such recommendation shall be entered on a petition for involuntary inpatient placement certificate that authorizes the facility to retain the patient pending transfer to a treatment facility or completion of a hearing.
(3) PETITION FOR INVOLUNTARY INPATIENT PLACEMENT.—The administrator of the facility shall file a petition for involuntary inpatient placement in the court in the county where the patient is located. Upon filing, the clerk of the court shall provide copies to the department, the patient, the patient’s guardian or representative, and the state attorney and public defender of the judicial circuit in which the patient is located. A fee may not be charged for the filing of a petition under this subsection.
(4) APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL.—Within 1 court working day after the filing of a petition for involuntary inpatient placement, the court shall appoint the public defender to represent the person who is the subject of the petition, unless the person is otherwise represented by counsel. The clerk of the court shall immediately notify the public defender of such appointment. Any attorney representing the patient shall have access to the patient, witnesses, and records relevant to the presentation of the patient’s case and shall represent the interests of the patient, regardless of the source of payment to the attorney.
(5) CONTINUANCE OF HEARING.—The patient is entitled, with the concurrence of the patient’s counsel, to at least one continuance of the hearing for up to 4 weeks.
(6) HEARING ON INVOLUNTARY INPATIENT PLACEMENT.—
(a)1. The court shall hold the hearing on involuntary inpatient placement within 5 court working days, unless a continuance is granted.
2. Except for good cause documented in the court file, the hearing must be held in the county or the facility, as appropriate, where the patient is located, must be as convenient to the patient as is consistent with orderly procedure, and shall be conducted in physical settings not likely to be injurious to the patient’s condition. If the court finds that the patient’s attendance at the hearing is not consistent with the best interests of the patient, and the patient’s counsel does not object, the court may waive the presence of the patient from all or any portion of the hearing. The state attorney for the circuit in which the patient is located shall represent the state, rather than the petitioning facility administrator, as the real party in interest in the proceeding.
3. The court may appoint a magistrate to preside at the hearing. One of the professionals who executed the petition for involuntary inpatient placement certificate shall be a witness. The patient and the patient’s guardian or representative shall be informed by the court of the right to an independent expert examination. If the patient cannot afford such an examination, the court shall ensure that one is provided, as otherwise provided for by law. The independent expert’s report is confidential and not discoverable, unless the expert is to be called as a witness for the patient at the hearing. The testimony in the hearing must be given under oath, and the proceedings must be recorded. The patient may refuse to testify at the hearing.
(b) If the court concludes that the patient meets the criteria for involuntary inpatient placement, it may order that the patient be transferred to a treatment facility or, if the patient is at a treatment facility, that the patient be retained there or be treated at any other appropriate facility, or that the patient receive services, on an involuntary basis, for up to 90 days. However, any order for involuntary mental health services in a treatment facility may be for up to 6 months. The order shall specify the nature and extent of the patient’s mental illness. The court may not order an individual with traumatic brain injury or dementia who lacks a co-occurring mental illness to be involuntarily placed in a state treatment facility. The facility shall discharge a patient any time the patient no longer meets the criteria for involuntary inpatient placement, unless the patient has transferred to voluntary status.
(c) If at any time before the conclusion of the hearing on involuntary inpatient placement it appears to the court that the person does not meet the criteria for involuntary inpatient placement under this section, but instead meets the criteria for involuntary outpatient services, the court may order the person evaluated for involuntary outpatient services pursuant to s. 394.4655. The petition and hearing procedures set forth in s. 394.4655 shall apply. If the person instead meets the criteria for involuntary assessment, protective custody, or involuntary admission pursuant to s. 397.675, then the court may order the person to be admitted for involuntary assessment for a period of 5 days pursuant to s. 397.6811. Thereafter, all proceedings are governed by chapter 397. (d) At the hearing on involuntary inpatient placement, the court shall consider testimony and evidence regarding the patient’s competence to consent to treatment. If the court finds that the patient is incompetent to consent to treatment, it shall appoint a guardian advocate as provided in s. 394.4598.
(e) The administrator of the petitioning facility shall provide a copy of the court order and adequate documentation of a patient’s mental illness to the administrator of a treatment facility if the patient is ordered for involuntary inpatient placement, whether by civil or criminal court. The documentation must include any advance directives made by the patient, a psychiatric evaluation of the patient, and any evaluations of the patient performed by a psychiatric nurse, a clinical psychologist, a marriage and family therapist, a mental health counselor, or a clinical social worker. The administrator of a treatment facility may refuse admission to any patient directed to its facilities on an involuntary basis, whether by civil or criminal court order, who is not accompanied by adequate orders and documentation.
(7) PROCEDURE FOR CONTINUED INVOLUNTARY INPATIENT PLACEMENT.— (a) Hearings on petitions for continued involuntary inpatient placement of an individual placed at any treatment facility are administrative hearings and must be conducted in accordance with s. 120.57(1), except that any order entered by the administrative law judge is final and subject to judicial review in accordance with s. 120.68. Orders concerning patients committed after successfully pleading not guilty by reason of insanity are governed by s. 916.15. (b) If the patient continues to meet the criteria for involuntary inpatient placement and is being treated at a treatment facility, the administrator shall, before the expiration of the period the treatment facility is authorized to retain the patient, file a petition requesting authorization for continued involuntary inpatient placement. The request must be accompanied by a statement from the patient’s physician, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse, or clinical psychologist justifying the request, a brief description of the patient’s treatment during the time he or she was involuntarily placed, and an individualized plan of continued treatment. Notice of the hearing must be provided as provided in s. 394.4599. If a patient’s attendance at the hearing is voluntarily waived, the administrative law judge must determine that the waiver is knowing and voluntary before waiving the presence of the patient from all or a portion of the hearing. Alternatively, if at the hearing the administrative law judge finds that attendance at the hearing is not consistent with the best interests of the patient, the administrative law judge may waive the presence of the patient from all or any portion of the hearing, unless the patient, through counsel, objects to the waiver of presence. The testimony in the hearing must be under oath, and the proceedings must be recorded.
(c) Unless the patient is otherwise represented or is ineligible, he or she shall be represented at the hearing on the petition for continued involuntary inpatient placement by the public defender of the circuit in which the facility is located.
(d) If at a hearing it is shown that the patient continues to meet the criteria for involuntary inpatient placement, the administrative law judge shall sign the order for continued involuntary inpatient placement for up to 90 days. However, any order for involuntary mental health services in a treatment facility may be for up to 6 months. The same procedure shall be repeated before the expiration of each additional period the patient is retained.
(e) If continued involuntary inpatient placement is necessary for a patient admitted while serving a criminal sentence, but his or her sentence is about to expire, or for a minor involuntarily placed, but who is about to reach the age of 18, the administrator shall petition the administrative law judge for an order authorizing continued involuntary inpatient placement.
(f) If the patient has been previously found incompetent to consent to treatment, the administrative law judge shall consider testimony and evidence regarding the patient’s competence. If the administrative law judge finds evidence that the patient is now competent to consent to treatment, the administrative law judge may issue a recommended order to the court that found the patient incompetent to consent to treatment that the patient’s competence be restored and that any guardian advocate previously appointed be discharged.
(g) If the patient has been ordered to undergo involuntary inpatient placement and has previously been found incompetent to consent to treatment, the court shall consider testimony and evidence regarding the patient’s incompetence. If the patient’s competency to consent to treatment is restored, the discharge of the guardian advocate shall be governed by s. 394.4598.
The procedure required in this subsection must be followed before the expiration of each additional period the patient is involuntarily receiving services.
(8) RETURN TO FACILITY.—If a patient involuntarily held at a treatment facility under this part leaves the facility without the administrator’s authorization, the administrator may authorize a search for the patient and his or her return to the facility. The administrator may request the assistance of a law enforcement agency in this regard.