Elder Abuse Restraining Orders

Helping to Protect Seniors in Los Angeles and Santa Clara from Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a serious problem in the United States and, unfortunately, it is a growing problem. Research indicates that at least ten percent of the senior population in the United States reported some type of abuse. The actual percentage may be significantly higher, as elder abuse often goes unreported.

Just like any other type of abuse victim, the law allows for certain protections for elder abuse victims to try to prevent further harm. Similar to domestic abuse situations, California courts may issue restraining orders against elder abusers under the state Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. These restraining orders serve as a safeguard for seniors from future abuse or exploitation, and they can be effective in keeping you or your loved one safe.

At Hackard Law, we commit ourselves to protecting the rights and interests of the senior population, including standing up for their rights in regard to elder abuse. If you believe your parent or close relative suffered any type of abuse, we can explore the possibility of a restraining order to help protect them. Please contact our elder law attorneys as soon as possible to learn about your options.

Eligibility for Elder Abuse Restraining Orders

Residents of California who are age 65 or older may request that the court issues a restraining order in light of any of the following types of conduct:

  • Physical abuse
  • Neglect
  • Emotional or mental abuse
  • Isolation
  • Abandonment
  • Abduction
  • Deprivation
  • Financial abuse

In addition, other parties may request a restraining order on behalf of an elder adult, including:

  • An attorney-in-fact given authority by a valid power of attorney
  • A trustee or conservator of the estate
  • A court-appointed guardian
  • Anyone else with legal authority to request the restraining order

If a court grants a restraining order, the court has the discretion to include numerous provisions for the protection of the abuse victim, as well as family members or others residing with the elder. Such provisions may include:

  • Prohibiting all contact between the abuser and the elder
  • Prohibiting the abuser from coming within a certain distance of the elder
  • Prohibiting the abuser from threatening, harassing, or abusing the elder
  • Prohibiting the abuser from purchasing or possessing a firearm

While a court order cannot physically stop an abuser from violating the terms, a violation can result in criminal charges. If an abuser violates a restraining order, they can face misdemeanor charges for a first offense, which can result in one year in jail, probation, and/or fines up to $1,000. Such consequences can be an effective deterrent to violating an elder abuse protective order. If you believe that you may want to request an order to protect you or a senior, please contact our office right away.

The Process of Obtaining a Restraining Order

California courts will not issue unwarranted restraining orders that limit a person’s conduct without sufficient basis. Therefore, there is a very specific process to request and prove the need for an elder abuse restraining order. However, the courts also recognize the need for immediate protection in certain situations. For this reason, the path to obtaining an order can be confusing. Our elder law firm helps clients navigate these complex procedures to ensure they receive all of the protection they need.

First, if law enforcement reports to a call of abuse or a disturbance and believes that a senior requires immediate protection, an officer can contact a judge to request they issue an emergency protective order. This emergency order goes into effect immediately and lasts for a few days. In order to continue the protections, you must file an application with the court before the emergency order expires.

Once you know you want to apply for a permanent order, you must complete several forms and file them with the appropriate court. Our lawyers can handle this entire process for you, as it can be complicated. Some required forms include:

  • Form EA-100 - Request for Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Orders.
  • Form CLETS-001 - Confidential CLETS Information.
  • Form EA-109 - Notice of Court Hearing
  • Form EA-110 - Temporary Restraining Order

There is no fee to file these forms, however, you must ensure you file them with the right court. The court will likely approve or deny your request within 24 hours, after which you will receive a temporary order.

A temporary order remains in effect until a hearing date. During the hearing, the court will decide whether to issue a permanent order, which can last up to five years. Unlike a temporary order, a permanent order hearing allows the abuser the opportunity to defend against the order. If the defendant shows up to the hearing, you will need to prove the need for the order by a preponderance of the evidence.

Our attorneys know how to gather evidence to sufficiently support your petition and the need for a permanent order. We may present many types of evidence at a hearing, including sworn witness statements, police reports, medical records showing abuse-related injuries, damaged property, photos of your injuries, and any threatening emails, texts, messages, or other communications from an abuser. The abuser will also have the opportunity to present evidence in their defense. Sometimes they will appear at the hearing, and sometimes they will not. It is always best to be prepared to present your case should the abuser show up in court with their own case.

Discuss Your Concerns With Our Santa Clara and Los Angeles Elder Law Attorneys

At Hackard Law, we know the importance of lasting elder abuse restraining orders to protect seniors from further harm. We also know that the process of obtaining a permanent restraining order is not always easy. Our lawyers represent clients in these cases to help protect their safety and well-being. If you are concerned about your own safety or a loved one’s safety, never hesitate to take the necessary legal action. Please contact us online or by calling (916) 313-3030 from Santa Clara or (213) 357-5200 from Los Angeles to schedule a consultation today.