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
RSA 161-F:43  (2016)

TITLE XII  Public Safety and Welfare 

CHAPTER 161-F  Elderly and Adult Services 

Protective Services to Adults

161-F:43 Definitions.

IV. "Exploitation” means the illegal use of an incapacitated adult's person or property for another person's profit or advantage, or the breach of a fiduciary relationship through the use of a person or a person's property for any purpose not in the proper and lawful execution of a trust, including, but not limited to, situations where a person obtains money, property, or services from an incapacitated adult through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, deception, or fraud.


VII. "Incapacitated'' means that the physical, mental, or emotional ability of a person is such that he is unable to manage personal, home, or financial affairs in his own best interest, or he is unable to act or unable to delegate responsibility to a responsible caretaker or caregiver.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
N.H. Rev. Stat. § 631:8 (2016)
Title LXII. Criminal Code

Chapter 631. Assault and Related Offenses

I. In this section:

(a) “Adult” means any person who is 18 years of age or older.

(b) “Caregiver” means any person who has been entrusted with, or has assumed the responsibility voluntarily, by contract, or by order of the court, for frequent and regular care of or services to an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, including subsistence, medical, custodial, personal or other care, on a temporary or permanent basis. A caregiver shall not include an uncompensated volunteer, unless such person has agreed to provide care and is aware that the person receiving the care is dependent upon the care provided.

(c) “Disabled adult” means an adult who has a diagnosed physical or mental impairment.

(d) “Elderly adult” means an individual who is 60 years of age or older.

(e) “Impaired adult” means any adult who suffers from an impairment by reason of mental illness, developmental disability, organic brain disorder, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, memory loss, or other cause, that causes an adult to lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate reasonable decisions concerning the adult's person or property or exhibits the functional limitations as defined in RSA 464-A:2, VII. Impaired adult includes a person determined to be incapacitated under RSA 161-F or RSA 464-A.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
N.H. Rev. Stat. §631:9 (2016)

Title LXII. Criminal Code
Chapter 631. Assault and Related Offenses

631:9. Financial Exploitation of an Elderly, Disabled, or Impaired Adult.

I. Whoever commits any of the following acts against an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, as defined in
RSA 631:8, shall be guilty of financial exploitation and penalized pursuant to RSA 631:10 if:

     (a) In breach of a fiduciary obligation recognized in law, including pertinent regulations, contractual obligations, documented consent by a competent person, including, but not limited to, an agent under a durable power of attorney, guardian, conservator, or trustee, a person, knowingly or recklessly, for his or her own profit or advantage:

         (1) Fails to use the real or personal property or other financial resources of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult to provide food, clothing, shelter, health care, therapeutic conduct, or supervision for the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult when under a duty to do so; or

         (2) Unless authorized by the instrument establishing fiduciary obligation, deprives, uses, manages, or takes either temporarily or permanently the real or personal property or other financial resources of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult for the benefit of someone other than the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult; or

     (b) In the absence of legal authority a person knowingly or recklessly through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, force, compulsion, or coercion:

         (1) Acquires possession or control of an interest in real or personal property or other financial resources of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult;

         (2) Induces an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult against the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult's will to perform services for the profit or advantage of another; or

         (3) Establishes a relationship with a fiduciary obligation to an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult that gives the person control of an interest in real or personal property or other financial resources of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult.

II. State and local law enforcement agencies shall have concurrent jurisdiction to investigate reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of incapacitated adults as defined in RSA 161-F or RSA 464-A and all other crimes against elderly, disabled, or impaired adult victims including, but not limited to, the crimes set forth in RSA 631:8 and this section. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to alter the duties and responsibilities of the commissioner of the department of health and human services, or his or her designees, relative to investigating reports of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation of incapacitated adults pursuant to RSA 161-F.

III. Nothing in this section requires a health or residential care facility, licensed under RSA 151, or any person to provide financial management or supervise financial management for an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult except as otherwise required by law.

IV. If the person knew or had reason to know that the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult lacked capacity to consent, consent is not a defense to a violation of this section.

V. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose criminal liability on a person who makes a good faith effort to assist an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult in the management of funds, assets, or property which effort fails through no fault of the person.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
RSA 631:10  (2016)
Title LXII  Criminal Code 

Chapter 631  Assault and Related Offenses

631:10.  Penalties.

I. Any person who violates RSA 631:8-a and who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult shall be guilty of:

     (a) A class A felony if the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult is valued at $ 1,500 or more; or

     (b) A class B felony if the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult is valued at $ 1,000 or more, but less than $ 1,500; or

     (c) A misdemeanor if the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult is valued at less than $ 1,000.

II. A person convicted of financial exploitation shall be sentenced to make restitution of the full value of the fund, assets, or property involved in the exploitation to the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult or the adult's estate in accordance with RSA 651:63.

Civil Elder Abuse
RSA 161-F:42 through 161-F:57  (2017)

RSA 161-F:43  (2017)

Title XII  Public Safety and Welfare  Chapter 161-F  Elderly and Adult Services  Protective Services to Adults

   II. "Abuse" means any one of the following:         (a) "Emotional abuse" means the misuse of power, authority, or both, verbal harassment, or unreasonable confinement which results or could result in the mental anguish or emotional distress of a vulnerable adult.         (b) "Physical abuse" means the use of physical force which results or could result in physical injury to a vulnerable adult.         (c) "Sexual abuse" means contact or interaction of a sexual nature involving a vulnerable adult without his or her informed consent.

III. "Neglect" means an act or omission which results or could result in the deprivation of essential services or supports necessary to maintain the minimum mental, emotional or physical health and safety of a vulnerable adult.

 IV. "Exploitation" means the illegal use of a vulnerable adult's person or property for another person's profit or advantage, or the breach of a fiduciary relationship through the use of a person or a person's property for any purpose not in the proper and lawful execution of a trust, including, but not limited to, situations where a person obtains money, property, or services from a vulnerable adult through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, deception, or fraud.

Criminal Elder Abuse
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 631.8.

  I. In this section:
       (a) "Adult'' means any person who is 18 years of age or older.
       (b) "Caregiver'' means any person who has been entrusted with, or has assumed the responsibility voluntarily, by contract, or by order of the court, for frequent and regular care of or services to an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, including subsistence, medical, custodial, personal or other care, on a temporary or permanent basis. A caregiver shall not include an uncompensated volunteer, unless such person has agreed to provide care and is aware that the person receiving the care is dependent upon the care provided.
       (c) "Disabled adult'' means an adult who has a diagnosed physical or mental impairment.
       (d) "Elderly adult'' means an individual who is 60 years of age or older.
       (e) "Impaired adult'' means any adult who suffers from an impairment by reason of mental illness, developmental disability, organic brain disorder, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, memory loss, or other cause, that causes an adult to lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate reasonable decisions concerning the adult's person or property or exhibits the functional limitations as defined in RSA 464-A:2, VII. Impaired adult includes a person determined to be incapacitated under RSA 161-F or RSA 464-A.
       (f) "Neglect'' means the failure or omission on the part of the caregiver to provide the care, supervision, and services which he or she has voluntarily, or by contract, or by order of the court agreed to provide and which are necessary to maintain the health of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision, and medical services, that a prudent person would consider necessary for the well-being of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult. "Neglect'' may be repeated conduct or a single incident.
       (g) "Person'' means any natural person, corporation, trust, partnership, unincorporated association, or any other legal entity.
       (h) "Serious bodily injury'' means serious bodily injury as defined in RSA 625:11, VI.
       (i) "Undue influence'' means the intentional use, by a person in a position of trust and confidence with an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, of that position to obtain an unfair advantage over the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, through actions or tactics, including, but not limited to, emotional, psychological, and legal manipulation.
    II. Any caregiver who purposely causes serious bodily injury to an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult by neglect shall be guilty of a class A felony.
    III. Any caregiver who knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult by neglect shall be guilty of a class B felony.
    IV. Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter or impair a person's right to self-determination or right to refuse medical treatment as described in RSA 151:21 and RSA 151:21-b.
    V. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean a person is abused, neglected, exploited, or in need of protective services for the sole reason that such person relies on or is being furnished treatment by spiritual means alone through prayer, in accordance with the tenets and practices of a church or religious denomination of which such person is a member or an adherent.
    VI. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose criminal liability on a person who has made a good faith effort to provide for the care of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, but through no fault of his or her own, has been unable to provide such care, or on a person who is carrying out the lawful request of an elderly or disabled adult who is competent to make his or her own decisions.
Source. 2002, 226:1, eff. July 16, 2002. 2014, 151:2, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.

https://law.justia.com/codes/new-hampshire/2015/ti...
Criminal Elder Abuse
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 631.9.

I. Whoever commits any of the following acts against an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, as defined in RSA 631:8, shall be guilty of financial exploitation and penalized pursuant to RSA 631:10 if:
       (a) In breach of a fiduciary obligation recognized in law, including pertinent regulations, contractual obligations, documented consent by a competent person, including, but not limited to, an agent under a durable power of attorney, guardian, conservator, or trustee, a person, knowingly or recklessly, for his or her own profit or advantage:
          (1) Fails to use the real or personal property or other financial resources of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult to provide food, clothing, shelter, health care, therapeutic conduct, or supervision for the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult when under a duty to do so; or
          (2) Unless authorized by the instrument establishing fiduciary obligation, deprives, uses, manages, or takes either temporarily or permanently the real or personal property or other financial resources of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult for the benefit of someone other than the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult; or
       (b) In the absence of legal authority a person knowingly or recklessly through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, force, compulsion, or coercion:
          (1) Acquires possession or control of an interest in real or personal property or other financial resources of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult;
          (2) Induces an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult against the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult's will to perform services for the profit or advantage of another; or
          (3) Establishes a relationship with a fiduciary obligation to an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult that gives the person control of an interest in real or personal property or other financial resources of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult.
    II. State and local law enforcement agencies shall have concurrent jurisdiction to investigate reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of incapacitated adults as defined in RSA 161-F or RSA 464-A and all other crimes against elderly, disabled, or impaired adult victims including, but not limited to, the crimes set forth in RSA 631:8 and this section. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to alter the duties and responsibilities of the commissioner of the department of health and human services, or his or her designees, relative to investigating reports of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation of incapacitated adults pursuant to RSA 161-F.
    III. Nothing in this section requires a health or residential care facility, licensed under RSA 151, or any person to provide financial management or supervise financial management for an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult except as otherwise required by law.
    IV. If the person knew or had reason to know that the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult lacked capacity to consent, consent is not a defense to a violation of this section.
    V. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose criminal liability on a person who makes a good faith effort to assist an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult in the management of funds, assets, or property which effort fails through no fault of the person.
Source. 2014, 151:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.

https://law.justia.com/codes/new-hampshire/2014/ti...