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Elder Abuse and Elder Financial Exploitation Statutes

The federal government, states, commonwealths, territories and the District of Columbia all have laws designed to protect older adults from elder abuse and guide the practice of adult protective services agencies, law enforcement agencies, and others. These laws vary considerably from state to state.
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Citation Statute
Civil Financial Exploitation
Code of Ala. § 38-9-2  (2016)

TITLE 38  Public Welfare 

CHAPTER 9  Protection of Aged or Disabled Adults

§ 38-9-2.  Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(8) Exploitation. The expenditure, diminution, or use of the property, assets, or resources of a protected person without the express voluntary consent of that person or his or her legally authorized representative or the admission of or provision of care to a protected person who needs to be in the care of a licensed hospital by an unlicensed hospital after a court order obtained by the State Board of Health has directed closure of the unlicensed hospital. For the purpose of this section and Sections 38-9-6 and 38-9-7, the term "unlicensed hospital" shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 22-21-33, and the term "licensed hospital" shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 22-21-20.


(17) Protected person. Any person over 18 years of age subject to protection under this chapter or any person, including, but not limited to, persons who are senile, people with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities, or any person over 18 years of age that is mentally or physically incapable of adequately caring for himself or herself and his or her interests without serious consequences to himself or herself or others.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
Code of Ala. § 38-9-2  (2016)

TITLE 38  Public Welfare 

CHAPTER 9  Protection of Aged or Disabled Adults

§ 38-9-2.  Definitions.

  For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

   (1) Abuse. The infliction of physical pain, injury, or the willful deprivation by a caregiver or other person of services necessary to maintain mental and physical health.

   (2) Adult in need of protective services. A person 18 years of age or older whose behavior indicates that he or she is mentally incapable of adequately caring for himself or herself and his or her interests without serious consequences to himself or herself or others, or who, because of physical or mental impairment, is unable to protect himself or herself from abuse, neglect, exploitation, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse by others, and who has no guardian, relative, or other appropriate person able, willing, and available to assume the kind and degree of protection and supervision required under the circumstances.

   (3) Caregiver. An individual who has the responsibility for the care of a protected person as a result of family relationship or who has assumed the responsibility for the care of the person voluntarily, by contract, or as a result of the ties of friendship.

   (4) Court. The circuit court.

   (5) Department. The Department of Human Resources of the State of Alabama.

   (6) Emotional abuse. The willful or reckless infliction of emotional or mental anguish or the use of a physical or chemical restraint, medication, or isolation as punishment or as a substitute for treatment or care of any protected person.

   (7) Employee of a nursing home. A person permitted to perform work in a nursing home by the nursing home administrator or by a person or an entity with an ownership interest in the facility, or by both. A person shall be considered an employee whether or not he or she receives compensation for the work performed.

   (8) Exploitation. The expenditure, diminution, or use of the property, assets, or resources of a protected person without the express voluntary consent of that person or his or her legally authorized representative or the admission of or provision of care to a protected person who needs to be in the care of a licensed hospital by an unlicensed hospital after a court order obtained by the State Board of Health has directed closure of the unlicensed hospital. For the purpose of this section and Sections 38-9-6 and 38-9-7, the term "unlicensed hospital" shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 22-21-33, and the term "licensed hospital" shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 22-21-20.

   (9) Intentionally. A person acts intentionally with respect to a result or to conduct described by a statute defining an offense, when his or her purpose is to cause that result or to engage in that conduct.

   (10) Interested person. Any adult relative, friend, or guardian of a protected person, or any official or representative of a public or private agency, corporation, or association concerned with his or her welfare.

   (11) Misappropriation of property of a nursing home resident. The deliberate misplacement or wrongful, temporary, or permanent use or withholding of belongings or money of a resident of a nursing home without the consent of the resident.

   (12) Neglect. The failure of a caregiver to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical services, or health care for the person unable to care for himself or herself; or the failure of the person to provide these basic needs for himself or herself when the failure is the result of the person's mental or physical inability.

   (13) Nursing facility. A facility which is licensed as a nursing home by the Alabama Department of Public Health pursuant to Article 2, Chapter 21, Title 22.

   (14) Other like incapacities. Those conditions incurred as the result of accident or mental or physical illness, producing a condition which substantially impairs an individual from adequately providing for his or her own care or protecting his or her own interests or protecting himself or herself from physical or mental injury or abuse.

   (15) Person. Any natural human being.

   (16) Physical injury. Impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.

   (17) Protected person. Any person over 18 years of age subject to protection under this chapter or any person, including, but not limited to, persons who are senile, people with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities, or any person over 18 years of age that is mentally or physically incapable of adequately caring for himself or herself and his or her interests without serious consequences to himself or herself or others.

   (18) Protective services. Those services whose objective is to protect an incapacitated person from himself or herself and from others.

   (19) Recklessly. A person acts recklessly with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he or she is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk shall be of such nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates a risk but is unaware of that risk solely by reason of voluntary intoxication, as defined in subdivision (e)(2) of Section 13A-3-2, acts recklessly with respect thereto.

   (20) Senility. Organic brain damage caused by advanced age or other physical illness to the extent that the person so afflicted is substantially impaired in his or her ability to adequately provide for his or her own care.

   (21) Serious physical injury. Physical injury which creates a risk of death, or which causes serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health, protracted loss of the function of any bodily organ, or the impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

   (22) Sexual abuse. Any conduct that is a crime as defined in Sections 13A-6-60 to 13A-6-70, inclusive.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
Code of Ala. § 38-9-7  (2016)

TITLE 38  Public Welfare  
CHAPTER 9  Protection of Aged Adults And Adults With A Disability

§ 38-9-7.  Abuse, neglect or exploitation; criminal offenses.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to abuse, neglect, exploit, or emotionally abuse any protected person. For purposes of this section, residence in a nursing home, mental institution, developmental center for people with an intellectual disability, or other convalescent care facility shall be prima facie evidence that a person is a protected person. Charges of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or emotional abuse may be initiated upon complaints of private individuals, as a result of investigations by social service agencies, or on the direct initiative of law enforcement officials.

(b) Any person who intentionally abuses or neglects a person in violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class B felony if the intentional abuse or neglect causes serious physical injury.

(c) Any person who recklessly abuses or neglects a person in violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class C felony if the reckless abuse or neglect causes serious physical injury.

(d) Any person who intentionally abuses or neglects a person in violation of this chapter, shall be guilty of a Class C felony if the intentional abuse or neglect causes physical injury.

(e) Any person who recklessly abuses or neglects a person in violation of this chapter, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if the reckless abuse or neglect causes physical injury.

(f) Any person who emotionally abuses a person in violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

(g) Any person who exploits a person in violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class C felony, where the value of the property, assets, or resources or illegal services provided to a protected person by an unlicensed hospital exceeds one hundred dollars ($ 100).

(h) Any person who exploits a person in violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, if the value of the property, assets, or resources or illegal services provided to a protected person by an unlicensed hospital does not exceed one hundred dollars ($ 100).

(i) If a violation of this section is also a violation of any other Alabama criminal statute, then a conviction or acquittal under either statute bars prosecution under the remaining statute.
Civil Elder Abuse
Code of Ala. §§ 38-9-1  through 38-9-11  (2017)

Code of Ala. § 38-9-2  (2017)

TITLE 38  Public Welfare
CHAPTER 9  Protection of Aged Adults And Adults With A Disability

 For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings: (1) Abuse. -- The infliction of physical pain, injury, or the willful deprivation by a caregiver or other person of services necessary to maintain mental and physical health.

 (6) Emotional abuse. -- The willful or reckless infliction of emotional or mental anguish or the use of a physical or chemical restraint, medication, or isolation as punishment or as a substitute for treatment or care of any protected person.

 (8) Exploitation. -- The expenditure, diminution, or use of the property, assets, or resources of a protected person without the express voluntary consent of that person or his or her legally authorized representative or the admission of or provision of care to a protected person who needs to be in the care of a licensed hospital by an unlicensed hospital after a court order obtained by the State Board of Health has directed closure of the unlicensed hospital. For the purpose of this section and Sections 38-9-6 and 38-9-7, the term "unlicensed hospital" shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 22-21-33, and the term "licensed hospital" shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Section 22-21-20.

(12) Neglect. -- The failure of a caregiver to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical services, or health care for the person unable to care for himself or herself; or the failure of the person to provide these basic needs for himself or herself when the failure is the result of the person's mental or physical inability.

(22) Sexual abuse. -- Any conduct that is a crime as defined in Sections 13A-6-60 to 13A-6-70, inclusive.

(11) Misappropriation of property of a nursing home resident. -- The deliberate misplacement or wrongful, temporary, or permanent use or withholding of belongings or money of a resident of a nursing home without the consent of the resident.

Criminal Elder Abuse
Ala. Code § 13A-6-191

For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) CAREGIVER. An individual who has the responsibility for the care of an elderly person as a result of family relationship or who has assumed the responsibility for the care of the person voluntarily, for pecuniary gain, by contract, or as a result of the ties of friendship.

(2) DECEPTION. Deception occurs when a person knowingly:

a. Creates or confirms another's impression which is false and which the defendant does not believe to be true.

b. Fails to correct a false impression which the defendant previously has created or confirmed.

c. Fails to correct a false impression when the defendant is under a duty to do so.

d. Prevents another from acquiring information pertinent to the disposition of the property involved.

e. Sells or otherwise transfers or encumbers property, failing to disclose a lien, adverse claim, or other legal impediment to the enjoyment of the property, whether that impediment is or is not valid, or is not a matter of official record.

f. Promises performance which the defendant does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed.

(3) ELDERLY PERSON. A person 60 years of age or older.

(4) EMOTIONAL ABUSE. The intentional or reckless infliction of emotional or mental anguish or the use of a physical or chemical restraint, medication, or isolation as punishment or as a substitute for treatment or care of any elderly person.

(5) FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION. The use of deception, intimidation, undue influence, force, or threat of force to obtain or exert unauthorized control over an elderly person's property with the intent to deprive the elderly person of his or her property or the breach of a fiduciary duty to an elderly person by the person's guardian, conservator, or agent under a power of attorney which results in an unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of the elderly person's property.

(6) INTIMIDATION. A threat of physical or emotional harm to an elderly person, or the communication to an elderly person that he or she will be deprived of food and nutrition, shelter, property, prescribed medication, or medical care or treatment.

(7) NEGLECT. The failure of a caregiver to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical services, medication, or health care for an elderly person.

(8) PERSON. A human being.

(9) UNDUE INFLUENCE. Domination, coercion, manipulation, or any other act exercised by another person to the extent that an elderly person is prevented from exercising free judgment and choice.

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/Cod...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Ala. Code § 13A-6-192

(a) A person commits the crime of elder abuse and neglect in the first degree if he or she intentionally abuses or neglects any elderly person and the abuse or neglect causes serious physical injury to the elderly person.

(b) Elder abuse and neglect in the first degree is a Class A felony.

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/Cod...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Ala. Code § 13A-6-193

(a) A person commits the crime of elder abuse and neglect in the second degree if he or she does any of the following:

(1) Intentionally abuses or neglects any elderly person and the abuse or neglect causes physical injury to the elderly person.

(2) Recklessly abuses or neglects any elderly person and the abuse or neglect causes serious physical injury to the elderly person.

(3) Recklessly abuses or neglects or emotionally abuses any elderly person having been previously convicted of elder abuse and neglect in the third degree in any court.

(b) Elder abuse and neglect in the second degree is a Class B felony.

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/Cod...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Ala. Code § 13A-6-194

(a) A person commits the crime of elder abuse and neglect in the third degree if he or she does any of the following:

(1) Recklessly abuses or neglects any elderly person and the abuse or neglect causes physical injury.

(2) Recklessly emotionally abuses any elderly person.

(b) Elder abuse and neglect in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/Cod...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Ala. Code § 13A-6-195

(a) The financial exploitation of an elderly person in which the value of the property taken exceeds two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) constitutes financial exploitation of the elderly person in the first degree.

(b) Financial exploitation of an elderly person in the first degree is a Class B felony.

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/Cod...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Ala. Code § 13A-6-196

(a) The financial exploitation of an elderly person in which the value of the property taken exceeds five hundred dollars ($500) but does not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) constitutes financial exploitation of the elderly person in the second degree.

(b) Financial exploitation of an elderly person in the second degree is a Class C felony.

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/Cod...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Ala Code § 13A-6-197

(a) The financial exploitation of an elderly person in which the value of the property taken does not exceed five hundred dollars ($500) constitutes financial exploitation of the elderly person in the third degree.

(b) Financial exploitation of an elderly person in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/Cod...