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ARLS begins the Marchman Act process by filing a Petition and Request for Assessment and Stabilization (Detox) and/or Treatment. Once the court has reviewed this petition, either through an Ex Parte process (no hearing required) or an actual hearing before the court, a court order may be entered. The determination of whether there will be an initial hearing or an Ex Parte review by the court is a strategic decision made between the client and ARLS. The Respondent may be court ordered to immediately go to a facility that has been pre-determined for completion of the assessment/stabilization/detox or be picked up by law enforcement and delivered by them to the nearest facility as ordered by the court for the assessment/stabilization/detox.

Following assessment/stabilization/detox, the treatment providers will render their assessment and make a recommendation for treatment to the court. The client must understand that ARLS and the court officials cannot dictate the level of care and have no influence on the level of treatment or type of treatment the Respondent will receive. The trained professionals base their treatment recommendation and the level of care based on the Respondent’s needs. Typically, treatment is Outpatient Treatment, Day-treatment, Intensive Outpatient Treatment and/or Residential Treatment. It is the obligation of ARLS as the client’s attorney to enforce the order of the court upon the Respondent.

The next step in the Marchman Act process is the filing a Treatment Petition by ARLS, if one has not previously been filed and is warranted. The court will review this petition and the treatment recommendation by the clinician to decide whether to order the Respondent to comply with this recommendation. If the court orders treatment, the order will be in place for a minimum period of sixty (60) days. If the Respondent voluntarily enters treatment prior to the treatment petition being granted ARLS will request to schedule a status of the case for the Respondent to appear before the Court within 2-4 weeks. Should the Respondent still be compliant with treatment at that time another status can be requested by ARLS. In essence, even though a treatment order has not been granted, the Respondent will recognize the possibility of said order being entered in the future for any failure to remain in treatment. If a treatment order has been entered and the Respondent is non-compliant in any way, ARLS will file a Rule to Show Cause with the court and bring the Respondent before the Judge for violating the court order and seek sanctions. Generally, if this occurs, the judge will have a hearing, and if proven, give the Respondent one more opportunity to return to treatment and comply with the court order to avoid incarceration. Should the respondent yet again fail to comply with the court order they will be found in civil contempt and possibly incarcerated until they are ready to return to treatment. It is important to note, serving time for contempt does not invalidate the existence or duration of the original order for treatment. The Respondent must continue treatment pursuant to the original order subsequent to being released from custody.

The client must further understand that although the Respondent is recommended at one particular level of care during the assessment the clinicians may increase or decrease the level of care at any time. Often, a Respondent, based on their participation (or, lack thereof) may start at one level of care, but subsequently need a higher or lower level of care based upon their participation in the treatment process – this is not uncommon and should be expected. ARLS will monitor the Respondent and bring the Respondent before the court as many times as necessary to force the Respondent to comply with the treatment recommendations during the sixty (60) day period. Prior to the end of the 60 day treatment period, should the Respondent still meet Marchman Act criteria, based on a medical professionals recommendation, an extension can be filed for up to an additional ninety (90) days. Although ARLS and the court cannot dictate the level of care, they are able to enforce the court order so that the Respondent receives the treatment they need during the court ordered period. Sobriety is ALWAYS a condition of a Marchman Act Order.


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Addiction Recovery Legal Services, LLC 888 S. Andrews Avenue Suite 203 Fort Lauderdale, FL. 33316 T: 1 (877) 35-ABUSE F: 1 (954) 522-2584 E: advice@arlshelp.com Copyright 2011 © Addiction Recovery Legal Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 1 (877) 35-ABUSE