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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
Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-6-102  (2016)

Title 71.  Welfare 

Chapter 6.  Programs and Services for Abused Persons 

Part 1.  Adult Protection

71-6-102.  Part definitions.

  (8) "Exploitation" means the improper use by a caretaker of funds that have been paid by a governmental agency to an adult or to the caretaker for the use or care of the adult;


(2) "Adult" means a person eighteen (18) years of age or older who because of mental or physical dysfunctioning or advanced age is unable to manage such person's own resources, carry out the activities of daily living, or protect such person from neglect, hazardous or abusive situations without assistance from others and who has no available, willing, and responsibly able person for assistance and who may be in need of protective services; provided, however, that a person eighteen (18) years of age or older who is mentally impaired but still competent shall be deemed to be a person with mental dysfunction for the purposes of this chapter;

(3) "Advanced age" means sixty (60) years of age or older;

Criminal Financial Exploitation
Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-6-102  (2016)

Title 71. Welfare 
Chapter 6. Programs and Services for Abused Persons 
Part 1. Adult Protection

§ 71-6-102.  Definitions.

  As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

   (1)  (A) "Abuse or neglect" means the infliction of physical pain, injury, or mental anguish, or the deprivation of services by a caretaker that are necessary to maintain the health and welfare of an adult or a situation in which an adult is unable to provide or obtain the services that are necessary to maintain that person's health or welfare. Nothing in this part shall be construed to mean a person is abused or neglected or in need of protective services for the sole reason that the person relies on or is being furnished treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with a recognized religious method of healing in lieu of medical treatment; further, nothing in this part shall be construed to require or authorize the provision of medical care to any terminally ill person if such person has executed an unrevoked living will in accordance with the Tennessee Right to Natural Death Act, compiled in title 32, chapter 11, and if the provision of such medical care would conflict with the terms of such living will;

      (B) "Abuse or neglect" means transporting an adult and knowingly abandoning, leaving or failing to provide additional planned transportation for the adult if the adult's caretaker knows, or should know, that:

         (i) The adult is unable to protect or care for himself or herself without assistance or supervision; and

         (ii) The caretaker's conduct causes any of the results listed in subdivision (1)(A) or creates a substantial risk of such results;

   (2) "Adult" means a person eighteen (18) years of age or older who because of mental or physical dysfunctioning or advanced age is unable to manage such person's own resources, carry out the activities of daily living, or protect such person from neglect, hazardous or abusive situations without assistance from others and who has no available, willing, and responsibly able person for assistance and who may be in need of protective services; provided, however, that a person eighteen (18) years of age or older who is mentally impaired but still competent shall be deemed to be a person with mental dysfunction for the purposes of this chapter;

   (3) "Advanced age" means sixty (60) years of age or older;

   (4) "Capacity to consent" means the mental ability to make a rational decision, which includes the ability to perceive, appreciate all relevant facts and to reach a rational judgment upon such facts. A decision itself to refuse services cannot be the sole evidence for finding the person lacks capacity to consent;

   (5) "Caretaker":

      (A) Means an individual or institution who has assumed the duty to provide for the care of the adult by contract or agreement;

      (B) Includes a parent, spouse, adult child or other relative, both biological or by marriage, who:

         (i) Resides with or in the same building with or regularly visits the adult;

         (ii) Knows or reasonably should know of the adult's mental or physical dysfunction or advanced age; and

         (iii) Knows or reasonably should know that the adult is unable to adequately provide for the adult's own care; and

      (C) Does not mean a financial institution as a caretaker of funds or other assets unless such financial institution has entered into an agreement to act as a trustee of such property or has been appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction to act as a trustee with regard to the property of the adult;

   (6) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of human services;

   (7) "Department" means the department of human services;

   (8) "Exploitation" means the improper use by a caretaker of funds that have been paid by a governmental agency to an adult or to the caretaker for the use or care of the adult;

   (9) "Imminent danger" means conditions calculated to and capable of producing within a relatively short period of time a reasonable probability of resultant irreparable physical or mental harm or the cessation of life, or both, if such conditions are not removed or alleviated. However, the department is not required to assume responsibility for a person in imminent danger pursuant to this chapter except when, in the department's determination, sufficient resources exist for the implementation of this part;

   (10) "Investigation" includes, but is not limited to, a personal interview with the individual reported to be abused, neglected, or exploited. When abuse or neglect is allegedly the cause of death, a coroner's or doctor's report shall be examined as part of the investigation;

   (11) "Protective services" means services undertaken by the department with or on behalf of an adult in need of protective services who is being abused, neglected, or exploited. These services may include, but are not limited to, conducting investigations of complaints of possible abuse, neglect, or exploitation to ascertain whether or not the situation and condition of the adult in need of protective services warrants further action; social services aimed at preventing and remedying abuse, neglect, and exploitation; services directed toward seeking legal determination of whether the adult in need of protective services has been abused, neglected or exploited and procurement of suitable care in or out of the adult's home;

   (12) "Relative" means spouse; child, including stepchild, adopted child or foster child; parents, including stepparents, adoptive parents or foster parents; siblings of the whole or half-blood; step-siblings; grandparents; grandchildren, of any degree; and aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews; and

   (13) "Sexual abuse" occurs when an adult, as defined in this chapter, is forced, tricked, threatened or otherwise coerced by a person into sexual activity, involuntary exposure to sexually explicit material or language, or sexual contact against such adult's will. Sexual abuse also occurs when an adult, as defined in this chapter, is unable to give consent to such sexual activities or contact and is engaged in such activities or contact with another person.

Criminal Financial Exploitation
Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-6-117  (2016)

Title 71. Welfare
Chapter 6. Programs and Services for Abused Persons
Part 1. Adult Protection

71-6-117.  Willful abuse, neglect or exploitation prohibited -- Penalty.

(a) It is an offense for any person to knowingly, other than by accidental means, abuse, neglect or exploit any adult within the meaning of this part.

(b) A violation of this section is a Class D felony.

(c)  (1) Following a conviction for a violation of this section or § 71-6-119, the clerk of the court shall notify the department of health of the conviction by sending a copy of the judgment in the manner set forth in § 68-11-1003 for inclusion pursuant to title 68, chapter 11, part 10.

   (2) Upon receipt of a judgment of conviction for a violation of an offense set out in subdivision (c)(1), the department shall place the person or persons convicted on the registry of persons who have abused, neglected, or misappropriated the property of a vulnerable individual as provided in § 68-11-1003(c).

   (3) Upon entry of the information in the registry, the department shall notify the person convicted, at the person's last known mailing address, of the person's inclusion on the registry. The person convicted shall not be entitled or given the opportunity to contest or dispute either the prior hearing conclusions or the content or terms of any criminal disposition, or attempt to refute the factual findings upon which the conclusions and determinations are based. The person convicted may challenge the accuracy of the report that the criminal disposition has occurred, such hearing conclusions were made or any factual issue related to the correct identity of the person. If the person convicted makes such a challenge within sixty (60) days of notification of inclusion on the registry, the commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, shall afford the person an opportunity for a hearing on the matter that complies with the requirements of due process and the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

(d) In addition to any other punishment that may be imposed for a violation of this section, if, as determined by the court, the victim was sixty (60) years of age or older, then the court shall impose a fine in an amount between fifty dollars ($50.00) and two hundred dollars ($200). The additional fine shall be paid to the clerk of the court imposing sentence, who shall transfer it to the state treasurer, who shall credit the fine to the general fund. All fines so credited to the general fund may be subject to appropriation by the general assembly for the purpose of funding services and programs for senior citizens.

Civil Elder Abuse
Tenn. Code Ann. §§  71-6-101 through 71-6-125  (2018)

Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-6-102  (2018)

Title 71  Welfare  Chapter 6  Programs and Services for Abused Persons  Part 1  Adult Protection

(1)  (A) "Abuse or neglect" means the infliction of physical pain, injury, or mental anguish, or the deprivation of services by a caretaker that are necessary to maintain the health and welfare of an adult or a situation in which an adult is unable to provide or obtain the services that are necessary to maintain that person's health or welfare. Nothing in this part shall be construed to mean a person is abused or neglected or in need of protective services for the sole reason that the person relies on or is being furnished treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with a recognized religious method of healing in lieu of medical treatment; further, nothing in this part shall be construed to require or authorize the provision of medical care to any terminally ill person if such person has executed an unrevoked living will in accordance with the Tennessee Right to Natural Death Act, compiled in title 32, chapter 11, and if the provision of such medical care would conflict with the terms of such living will;      (B) "Abuse or neglect" means transporting an adult and knowingly abandoning, leaving or failing to provide additional planned transportation for the adult if the adult's caretaker knows, or should know, that:         (i) The adult is unable to protect or care for himself or herself without assistance or supervision; and         (ii) The caretaker's conduct causes any of the results listed in subdivision (1)(A) or creates a substantial risk of such results;

   (8) "Exploitation" means the improper use by a caretaker of funds that have been paid by a governmental agency to an adult or to the caretaker for the use or care of the adult;

   (13) "Sexual abuse" occurs when an adult, as defined in this chapter, is forced, tricked, threatened or otherwise coerced by a person into sexual activity, involuntary exposure to sexually explicit material or language, or sexual contact against such adult's will. Sexual abuse also occurs when an adult, as defined in this chapter, is unable to give consent to such sexual activities or contact and is engaged in such activities or contact with another person.

Criminal Elder Abuse
Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-101

(a) A person commits the crime of nonsupport who fails to provide support which that person is able to provide and knows the person has a duty to provide to a minor child or to a child or spouse who, because of physical or mental disability, is unable to be self-supporting.

(b) “Child” includes legitimate children and children whose parentage has been admitted by the person charged or established by judicial action.

(c) “Support” includes, but is not limited to, financial assistance, food, shelter, clothing, medical attention or, if determined elsewhere by law, other necessary care.

(d) A person commits the offense of flagrant nonsupport who:

(1) Leaves or remains without the state to avoid a legal duty of support; or

(2) Having been convicted one (1) or more times of nonsupport or flagrant nonsupport, is convicted of a subsequent offense under this section.

(e)(1) Nonsupport under subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor.

(2) Flagrant nonsupport under subsection (d) is a Class E felony.

http://codes.findlaw.com/tn/title-39-criminal-offe...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-6-117.

(a) It is an offense for any person to knowingly, other than by accidental means, abuse, neglect or exploit any adult within the meaning of the provisions of this part.
(b) A violation of this section is a Class E felony.

https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/tennessee/tn-c...