Abuse can happen to anybody, including elderly citizens. Vastly underreported, elder abuse is much more common than most people realize. There are special protections and elder abuse laws in place to protect senior citizens and dependent adults in California. Here, we want to discuss California’s laws regarding civil restraining orders, why an older adult may need a restraining order, and who is allowed to obtain these orders.
California Civil Restraining Order Laws
Restraining orders are handed down by the courts in California, and they require that a person not come into contact with you or for them to stay away from you, your home, and your place of employment. There are various reasons why you may need to ask the court system in California to grant a restraining order. These include instances of stalking, harassment, assault, or sexual assault.
When are Restraining Orders Necessary?
A restraining order may be necessary for an older adult in California for a variety of reasons. These orders can become necessary when somebody (including the caregiver) engages in any of the following:
- Physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical or mental harm.
- The deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.
- Financial abuse.
Who May Obtain an Elder Adult Abuse Restraining Order?
California law is very specific about who can partake in civil actions on behalf of elderly or dependent adults. The law states that the elderly or dependent adult is allowed to file for a restraining order on their own behalf.
Additionally, a petition may be brought on behalf of an elderly adult or dependent adult by:
- A conservator or trustee of the elderly or dependent person.
- An attorney-in-fact of the elderly or dependent person.
- A person reported as guardian ad litem for the elderly or dependent person.
- Any other person legally authorized to seek relief on behalf of the elderly or dependent person.
Additionally, a petition for the elderly or dependent adult may be brought by the county adult protective services agency in the following circumstances:
- If the elderly or dependent person has suffered abuse and has an impaired ability to understand their circumstances that places them at risk of harm.
- If the elderly or dependent person has provided written authorization to the county adult protective services agency to act on their behalf.
As defined by Welfare & Institutions Code Sections 15610.07 and 15657.03, an elderly adult is anyone aged 65 years or older. A dependent adult is anyone between the ages of 18 and 64 who has mental or physical limitations that restrict their ability to carry out regular activities or protect their rights.
Elder abuse restraining orders can be requested from the court by filing certain forms, and a qualifying individual can file on their own behalf or with the assistance of others. It is crucial to work with a California elder abuse attorney who can walk you through this process and ensure that all documents are filed properly.
Get Help from a California Elder Abuse Attorney
If you are an elderly or dependent adult and need to seek a restraining order against somebody else, or if you need to file a restraining order on behalf of an elderly or dependent adult, seek legal assistance immediately. California elder abuse attorney Joel Bryant has extensive experience handling these cases. Attorney Bryant will be able to conduct a complete investigation into the case and handle every aspect of filing for a restraining order on your behalf.