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 Ari. § 46-4-471(3) & (2) (2020)

TITLE 46 Welfare

CHAPTER 4 Adult Protective Services

§  46-4-471.  Definitions.

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

(3) “Financial exploitation” means either of the following:
(a) The wrongful or unauthorized taking, withholding, appropriating or use of money, assets or property of an eligible adult.
(b) Any act or omission taken by a person, including through the use of a power of attorney, guardianship or conservatorship of an eligible adult, to either:
(i) Obtain control through deception, intimidation or undue influence over the eligible adult's money, assets or property to deprive the eligible adult of the ownership, use, benefit or possession of the eligible adult's money, assets or property.
(ii) Convert money, assets or property of the eligible adult to deprive the eligible adult of the ownership, use, benefit or possession of the eligible adult's money, assets or property.



(2) “Eligible adult” means either of the following:
(a) A person who is sixty-five years of age or older.
(b) A person who is a vulnerable adult.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
A.R.S. § 13-1802(B) & (K)(6) (2020)

Title 13. Criminal Code
Chapter 18. Theft
§13-1802. Theft; classification; definitions

B. A person commits theft if, without lawful authority, the person knowingly takes control, title, use or management of a vulnerable adult's property while acting in a position of trust and confidence and with the intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property. Proof that a person took control, title, use or management of a vulnerable adult's property without adequate consideration to the vulnerable adult may give rise to an inference that the person intended to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property.


K. For the purposes of this section:

6. “Vulnerable adult” has the same meaning prescribed in § 46–451.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
A.R.S. § 14-5101(3) (2020)

Title 14. Trusts, Estates and Protective Proceedings
Chapter 5. Protection of Persons Under Disability and Their Property
Article 1. General Provisions
§ 14-5101. Definitions.

In this title, unless the context otherwise requires:

3. “Incapacitated person” means any person who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, mental disorder, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication or other cause, except minority, to the extent that he lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his person. In cases of limited guardianship only, a person is not deemed an incapacitated person for purposes of voting if the person files a petition and has a hearing and the judge determines by clear and convincing evidence that the person retains sufficient understanding to exercise the right to vote pursuant to § 14–5304.02.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
A.R.S. § 46-451(A)(10) (2020)

Title 46. Welfare
Chapter 4. Adult Protective Services
Article 1. General Provisions
§ 46-451. Definitions; program goals

A. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

10. “Vulnerable adult” means an individual who is eighteen years of age or older and who is unable to protect himself from abuse, neglect or exploitation by others because of a physical or mental impairment. Vulnerable adult includes an incapacitated person as defined in § 14–5101.

Civil Elder Abuse
A.R.S. §§ 46-451 through 46-459  (2017)

A.R.S. § 46-451  (2017)

Title 46  Welfare
Chapter 4  Adult Protective Services
Article 1.  General Provisions

A. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. "Abuse" means:  (a) Intentional infliction of physical harm.  (b) Injury caused by negligent acts or omissions.   (c) Unreasonable confinement.   (d) Sexual abuse or sexual assault.

 4. "Exploitation" means the illegal or improper use of a vulnerable adult or his resources for another's profit or advantage.

 6. "Neglect" means a pattern of conduct without the person's informed consent resulting in deprivation of food, water, medication, medical services, shelter, cooling, heating or other services necessary to maintain minimum physical or mental health.

Criminal Elder Abuse
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3623

A. Under circumstances likely to produce death or serious physical injury, any person who causes a child or vulnerable adult to suffer physical injury or, having the care or custody of a child or vulnerable adult, who causes or permits the person or health of the child or vulnerable adult to be injured or who causes or permits a child or vulnerable adult to be placed in a situation where the person or health of the child or vulnerable adult is endangered is guilty of an offense as follows:

1. If done intentionally or knowingly, the offense is a class 2 felony and if the victim is under fifteen years of age it is punishable pursuant to section 13-705.

2. If done recklessly, the offense is a class 3 felony.

3. If done with criminal negligence, the offense is a class 4 felony.

B. Under circumstances other than those likely to produce death or serious physical injury to a child or vulnerable adult, any person who causes a child or vulnerable adult to suffer physical injury or abuse or, having the care or custody of a child or vulnerable adult, who causes or permits the person or health of the child or vulnerable adult to be injured or who causes or permits a child or vulnerable adult to be placed in a situation where the person or health of the child or vulnerable adult is endangered is guilty of an offense as follows:

1. If done intentionally or knowingly, the offense is a class 4 felony.

2. If done recklessly, the offense is a class 5 felony.

3. If done with criminal negligence, the offense is a class 6 felony.

C. For the purposes of subsections A and B of this section, the terms endangered and abuse include but are not limited to circumstances in which a child or vulnerable adult is permitted to enter or remain in any structure or vehicle in which volatile, toxic or flammable chemicals are found or equipment is possessed by any person for the purpose of manufacturing a dangerous drug in violation of section 13-3407, subsection A, paragraph 3 or 4.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a violation committed under the circumstances described in this subsection does not require that a person have care or custody of the child or vulnerable adult.

D. A person who intentionally or knowingly engages in emotional abuse of a vulnerable adult who is a patient or resident in any setting in which health care, health-related services or assistance with one or more of the activities of daily living is provided or, having the care or custody of a vulnerable adult, who intentionally or knowingly subjects or permits the vulnerable adult to be subjected to emotional abuse is guilty of a class 6 felony.

E. This section does not apply to:

1. A health care provider as defined in section 36-3201 who permits a patient to die or the patient's condition to deteriorate by not providing health care if that patient refuses that care directly or indirectly through a health care directive as defined in section 36-3201, through a surrogate pursuant to section 36-3231 or through a court appointed guardian as provided for in title 14, chapter 5, article 3.

2. A vulnerable adult who is being furnished spiritual treatment through prayer alone and who would not otherwise be considered to be abused, neglected or endangered if medical treatment were being furnished.

F. For the purposes of this section:

1. "Abuse", when used in reference to a child, means abuse as defined in section 8-201, except for those acts in the definition that are declared unlawful by another statute of this title and, when used in reference to a vulnerable adult, means:

(a) Intentional infliction of physical harm.

(b) Injury caused by criminally negligent acts or omissions.

(c) Unlawful imprisonment, as described in section 13-1303.

(d) Sexual abuse or sexual assault.

2. "Child" means an individual who is under eighteen years of age.

3. "Emotional abuse" means a pattern of ridiculing or demeaning a vulnerable adult, making derogatory remarks to a vulnerable adult, verbally harassing a vulnerable adult or threatening to inflict physical or emotional harm on a vulnerable adult.

4. "Physical injury" means the impairment of physical condition and includes any skin bruising, pressure sores, bleeding, failure to thrive, malnutrition, dehydration, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swelling, injury to any internal organ or any physical condition that imperils health or welfare.

5. "Serious physical injury" means physical injury that creates a reasonable risk of death or that causes serious or permanent disfigurement, serious impairment of health or loss or protracted impairment of the function of any bodily organ or limb.

6. "Vulnerable adult" means an individual who is eighteen years of age or older and who is unable to protect himself from abuse, neglect or exploitation by others because of a mental or physical impairment.

https://www.azleg.gov/viewdocument/?docName=https:...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-1802

A. A person commits theft if, without lawful authority, the person knowingly:

1. Controls property of another with the intent to deprive the other person of such property; or

2. Converts for an unauthorized term or use services or property of another entrusted to the defendant or placed in the defendant's possession for a limited, authorized term or use; or

3. Obtains services or property of another by means of any material misrepresentation with intent to deprive the other person of such property or services; or

4. Comes into control of lost, mislaid or misdelivered property of another under circumstances providing means of inquiry as to the true owner and appropriates such property to the person's own or another's use without reasonable efforts to notify the true owner; or

5. Controls property of another knowing or having reason to know that the property was stolen; or

6. Obtains services known to the defendant to be available only for compensation without paying or an agreement to pay the compensation or diverts another's services to the person's own or another's benefit without authority to do so; or

7. Controls the ferrous metal or nonferrous metal of another with the intent to deprive the other person of the metal; or

8. Controls the ferrous metal or nonferrous metal of another knowing or having reason to know that the metal was stolen; or

9. Purchases within the scope of the ordinary course of business the ferrous metal or nonferrous metal of another person knowing that the metal was stolen.

B. A person commits theft if, without lawful authority, the person knowingly takes control, title, use or management of a vulnerable adult's property while acting in a position of trust and confidence and with the intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property.  Proof that a person took control, title, use or management of a vulnerable adult's property without adequate consideration to the vulnerable adult may give rise to an inference that the person intended to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property.

C. It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution under subsection B of this section that either:

1. The property was given as a gift consistent with a pattern of gift giving to the person that existed before the adult became vulnerable.

2. The property was given as a gift consistent with a pattern of gift giving to a class of individuals that existed before the adult became vulnerable.

3. The superior court approved the transaction before the transaction occurred.

D. The inferences set forth in section 13-2305 apply to any prosecution under subsection A, paragraph 5 of this section.

E. At the conclusion of any grand jury proceeding, hearing or trial, the court shall preserve any trade secret that is admitted in evidence or any portion of a transcript that contains information relating to the trade secret pursuant to section 44-405.

F. Subsection B of this section does not apply to an agent who is acting within the scope of the agent's duties as or on behalf of a health care institution that is licensed pursuant to title 36, chapter 4 and that provides services to the vulnerable adult.

G. Theft of property or services with a value of twenty-five thousand dollars or more is a class 2 felony.  Theft of property or services with a value of four thousand dollars or more but less than twenty-five thousand dollars is a class 3 felony.  Theft of property or services with a value of three thousand dollars or more but less than four thousand dollars is a class 4 felony, except that theft of any vehicle engine or transmission is a class 4 felony regardless of value.  Theft of property or services with a value of two thousand dollars or more but less than three thousand dollars is a class 5 felony.  Theft of property or services with a value of one thousand dollars or more but less than two thousand dollars is a class 6 felony.  Theft of any property or services valued at less than one thousand dollars is a class 1 misdemeanor, unless the property is taken from the person of another, is a firearm or is an animal taken for the purpose of animal fighting in violation of section 13-2910.01, in which case the theft is a class 6 felony.

H. A person who is convicted of a violation of subsection A, paragraph 1 or 3 of this section that involved property with a value of one hundred thousand dollars or more is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or release from confinement on any basis except pursuant to section 31-233, subsection A or B until the sentence imposed by the court has been served, the person is eligible for release pursuant to section 41-1604.07 or the sentence is commuted.

I. For the purposes of this section, the value of ferrous metal or nonferrous metal includes the amount of any damage to the property of another caused as a result of the theft of the metal.

J. In an action for theft of ferrous metal or nonferrous metal:

1. Unless satisfactorily explained or acquired in the ordinary course of business by an automotive recycler as defined and licensed pursuant to title 28, chapter 10 or by a scrap metal dealer as defined in section 44-1641, proof of possession of scrap metal that was recently stolen may give rise to an inference that the person in possession of the scrap metal was aware of the risk that it had been stolen or in some way participated in its theft.

2. Unless satisfactorily explained or sold in the ordinary course of business by an automotive recycler as defined and licensed pursuant to title 28, chapter 10 or by a scrap metal dealer as defined in section 44-1641, proof of the sale of stolen scrap metal at a price substantially below its fair market value may give rise to an inference that the person selling the scrap metal was aware of the risk that it had been stolen.

K. For the purposes of this section:

1. "Adequate consideration" means the property was given to the person as payment for bona fide goods or services provided by the person and the payment was at a rate that was customary for similar goods or services in the community that the vulnerable adult resided in at the time of the transaction.

2. "Ferrous metal" and "nonferrous metal" have the same meanings prescribed in section 44-1641.

3. "Pattern of gift giving" means two or more gifts that are the same or similar in type and monetary value.

4. "Position of trust and confidence" has the same meaning prescribed in section 46-456.

5. "Property" includes all forms of real property and personal property.

6. "Vulnerable adult" has the same meaning prescribed in section 46-451.

https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/01802.htm