California law provides protection from abuse for Elder and Dependent Adults in the form of restraining orders. These restraining orders are a powerful tool that can be used to stop the conduct of a person abusing an Elder or Dependent Adult. An Elder Adult refers to any person 65 years or older; a Dependent Adult is any person between the ages of 18-64 years of age who has physical or mental limits restricting their ability to complete normal activities or someone (same age) who is admitted as an inpatient to a 24-hour assisted health facility.
California law defines Elder or Dependent Adult abuse as physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, mental abuse, isolation, or other treatment or behavior that results in physical harm, pain, or mental suffering; or deprivation by a caregiver of goods and services that are necessary to avoid mental or physical harm.
WHO CAN FILE THE RESTRAINING ORDER?
An Elder or Dependent Adult may file their own restraining orders or in the event that they cannot file, then one of the following can file on behalf of the Elder or Dependent Adult:
- A person appointed as Guardian ad Litem (a person usually a lawyer, appointed by the court to represent the interests of the Elder or Dependent Adult);
- A conservator or trustee of the Elder or Dependent Adult;
- Any person who has the legal authority to seek protection for the Elder or Dependent Adult; or
- An attorney of the Elder or Dependent Adult.
WHAT WILL A RESTRAINING ORDER DO?
A restraining order is a court order. It is a written instruction delivered by a court or judge requiring a party to do or abstain from doing certain acts. An Elder or Dependent Adult restraining order can prohibit an abuser (restrained person) from:
- Abusing, threatening, attacking, stalking, assaulting, battering, harassing, taking personal property, or contacting the Elder or Dependent Adult; or
- Coming to the Elder or Dependent Adult's residence or coming within close proximity of, or disturbing the peace of the Elder or Dependent Adult.
Violation of a court order is a criminal offense that can result in an arrest and criminal prosecution (under California Penal Code section 273.6) punishable by up to one year in Los Angeles county jail.
WHAT IMPACT WILL A RESTRAINING ORDER HAVE ON THE ABUSER?
There are a number of consequences that can occur to the person who has a restraining order issued against them, such as:
- the abuser may be forced to move out of your home, if the victim is living there;
- the abuser may not own or possess a firearm;
- the abuser may be prohibited from going to certain places;
- the abuser risks being criminally prosecuted and going to jail if the restraining order is violated.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO PROVE TO OBTAIN A PERMANENT ORDER?
In order to obtain a permanent restraining order, the Elder or Dependent Adult must convince the court by a preponderance of the evidence that the abuse alleged in the TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) actually occurred and that you (person seeking the restraining order) believe the abuse is likely to continue and therefore you need a permanent restraining order for protection from the abuser (restrained person).
TOP LOS ANGELES RESTRAINING ORDER LAWYERS
If you need help obtaining or defending a restraining order we can help. We can protect you and your family by ensuring the restraining order petition is filed correctly and the required evidence is presented to the court to ensure the issuance of a permanent restraining order. Likewise, if you have been served with a restraining order issued against you, we can challenge and successfully defend against a frivolous and false restraining order.
While it is not necessary to have a lawyer, it is in your best interest to have a skilled and experienced lawyer at the final hearing. Why? Permanent restraining orders can last up to five years and a seasoned lawyer can help convince the judge that it is necessary to have that permanent restraining order for you and your family’s safety and peace of mind. A good lawyer can help you organize your evidence and prepare your witnesses to testify in court to ensure you present a sufficient amount of evidence to meet the required standard of proof in order to have the order granted or denied.
We have handled hundreds of restraining orders in Los Angeles County and have settled a big percentage of these favorably. We have experience representing parties on both sides of a restraining order (petitioners and respondents) and we bring that experience to bear on each and every one of our restraining order cases. Call us for a no-cost consultation and learn how we can help you.