Elder Abuse Cases Can Involve Criminal Charges Or Civil Lawsuits, Or Both
Elder abuse cases enter the courts in various forms and disguises. For example, elder abuse might be an overt or underlying issue in criminal assault cases, fraud, civil cases, protective orders, guardianship/conservatorship cases, and institutional abuse or neglect.
Courts play a critical role in protecting the rights and the safety of older adults and people with disabilities. Some courts have led the charge in community responses to elder abuse and have piloted models to better serve elders. Cases involving elder abuse and neglect can involve criminal charges, or become subject of a civil lawsuit — or both.
Selection of NCEA publications:
- CANE Bibliography Series: The Role of Attorneys, Courts, and Legal Mechanisms in the Prevention of and Intervention to Elder Abuse (2007)
- Durable Power of Attorney Fact Sheet: Criminal Justice Professionals (2008)
- State-Level Adult Guardianship Data: An Exploratory Survey (August 2006)
Learn how courts are addressing elders as litigants, victims, and offenders
- American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging has created several reports on elder abuse reporting, durable power of attorney abuse, and legislative summaries for the National Center on Elder Abuse, and has also posted reports related to guardianship, promising practices in the courts, and the role of the judicial system in cases of elder abuse.
- Center for Elders and the Courts – National Center for State Courts provides information about abuse, neglect and financial exploitation and how they manifest in multiple kinds of court settings, as well as resources and tools to help courts improve their response
- Center on Aging, Florida International University – Florida International University’s Elder Justice publications explore issues raised by the increasing numbers of older people in the courthouse, often propelled by underlying health issues, and how courts can respond more effectively to aging issues and cases of abuse, domestic violence, neglect and exploitation.
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