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  (2020)

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. § 39-15-501(6), (7) & (14) (2020)

Title 39. Criminal Offenses
Chapter 15. Offenses Against the Family
Part 5. Elderly and Vulnerable Adults
§ 39-15-501. Part definitions.

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

(7) “Financial exploitation” means:
(A) The use of deception, intimidation, undue influence, force, or threat of force to obtain or exert unauthorized control over an elderly or vulnerable adult's property with the intent to deprive the elderly or vulnerable adult of property;
(B) The breach of a fiduciary duty to an elderly or vulnerable adult by the person's guardian, conservator, or agent under a power of attorney which results in an appropriation, sale, or transfer of the elderly or vulnerable adult's property; or
(C) The act of obtaining or exercising control over an elderly or vulnerable adult's property, without receiving the elderly or vulnerable adult's effective consent, by a caregiver committed with the intent to benefit the caregiver or other third party;


(6) “Elderly adult” means a person seventy (70) years of age or older;

(14) “Vulnerable adult” means a person eighteen (18) years of age or older who, because of intellectual disability or physical dysfunction, is unable to fully manage the person's own resources, carry out all or a portion of the activities of daily living, or fully protect against neglect, exploitation, or hazardous or abusive situations without assistance from others.

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. § 39-15-502 (2020)

(a) It is an offense for any person to knowingly financially exploit an elderly or vulnerable adult.

 

(b) A violation of this section shall be punished as theft pursuant to § 39-14-105; provided, however, that the violation shall be punished one (1) classification higher than is otherwise provided in § 39-14-105.

Criminal Elder Abuse
Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-507 (2020)

(a) It is an offense for a caregiver to knowingly neglect an elderly or vulnerable adult, so as to adversely affect the person's health or welfare.

(b) The offense of neglect of an elderly adult is a Class E felony.

(c) The offense of neglect of a vulnerable adult is a Class D felony.

(d) If the neglect is a result of abandonment or confinement and no injury occurred, then the neglect by abandonment or confinement of an elderly or vulnerable adult is a Class A misdemeanor.

Criminal Elder Abuse
Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-508 (2020)

(a) A caregiver commits the offense of aggravated neglect of an elderly or vulnerable adult who commits neglect pursuant to § 39-15-507, and the act:

(1) Results in serious physical harm; or

(2) Results in serious bodily injury.

(b) In order to convict a person for a violation of subdivision (a)(1), it is not necessary for the state to prove the elderly or vulnerable adult sustained serious bodily injury as required by § 39-13-102, but only that the neglect resulted in serious physical harm.

(c) A violation of subdivision (a)(1) is a Class C felony.

(d) A violation of subdivision (a)(2) is a Class B felony.

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...