Mental Health

Mental Health Specialty Division "T"

Started in 2009, this effective collaboration between Court Administration, the State Attorney's Office, the Public Defender's Office, and contracted Expert Witnesses, has allowed for felony competency cases to be transferred into a specialty division where cases are resolved in about half the time as cases processed through traditional methods. Once the defendant is found competent, the case returns to the original division.

Felony cases where there is an issue of competency to proceed, may be transferred into the Division via a written motion for appointment of experts and a proposed Order Temporarily Reassigning Case to the Mental Health Specialty Division. The motion and proposed order should be presented to the Divisional Judge. If the Judge enters the Order, a copy must be forwarded to the Mental Health Case Manager, Paulina Pasquarelli, at The case will be set in the Mental Health Specialty Division, Division T, at the Criminal Justice Complex on Gun Club Road.

Circuit Judge Donald W. Hafele presides over the Mental Health Specialty Division.


word document Order Temporarily Reassigning Case to Mental Health Specialty Division

Baker Act and Marchman Act Cases

Baker Act-Florida Statute Chapter 394

Florida's Baker Act law is a means of providing individuals who are a danger to themselves and/or others with emergency services and temporary detention for up to 72 hours for mental health examination. The Baker Act DOES NOT guarantee long term placement for individuals. Learn more about the Baker Act, review the Baker Act Flyer pdf

Marchman Act

A Marchman Act is a court order for an individual to have an involuntary assessment (and possibly involuntary treatment), for substance abuse when there is reason to believe that the person is substance abuse impaired and because of the impairment, he or she has lost the power of self control over substance use. To learn more about the Marchman Act process, review the Marchman Act Flyer.pdf

Guardian Advocates in Baker Act Cases

A guardian advocate is a person appointed by the court to make decisions regarding the mental health treatment of an individual who has been found to be incompetent to consent to treatment under the Baker Act. The guardian advocate may be granted specific additional powers by written order of the court. See Section 394.4598, F.S.

If you are interested in volunteering as a Guardian Advocate you will need to complete a 4 hour free training and a criminal background check. You can access the training on the Florida Certification Board website. For any questions on the process please contact Mary Quinlan at

Mental Health Services in the Community

  211 - Palm Beach County
  Delinquency and Dependency Resource Guide
Mary Quinlan
Program Manager