Domestic Violence Act Expanded: Elder Abuse


Elder abuse is a critically important social issue nation wide in the United States. In order to expand protections for victims of elder abuse, a New Jersey judge recently ruled that the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is may be used to obtain restraining orders against abusers.

Ocean City Superior Court Judge Lawrence Jones said in J.C. v. B.S., “Although elder abuse is not a category specified in the Domestic Violence Act, it is clear that public policy allows for victims of such abuse to use the act to their benefit.” Judge Jones ordered the man, identified only as B.S., “Who lived with his 73-year-old mother, J.C., to vacate the house because of history of alcohol-fueled verbal abuse. He will be allowed to return to retrieve his personal possessions, but only under police supervision.”

This new ruling expands the way lawyers (and the courts and public) can find ways to protect senior citizens who are victims of elder abuse. Judge Jones noted that elder abuse might be, “either physical or emotional in nature, and that in some cases emotional abuse may be just as harmful as physical abuse.” The victim in this case, J.C., is, “in poor health, having had two mini-strokes, two back operations and a hip replacement, Jones said, adding that she is frail and has difficulty walking. She was living with a friend and her son, who had no ownership interest in the house.”

While J.C., lived in the house she was, “subjected to on-going harassment on a near-daily basis from her son, who called her vulgar names and made derogatory remarks about her anatomy. He also, on occasion, would poke his mother with a finger and once almost pushed her over.” Eventually, J.C. called the police to her defense. In response, Jones found, “there was more than enough evidence that B.S. had subjected his mother to verbal and physical abuse, and entered a final restraining order based on violations of the Domestic Violence Act.”

This ruling provides yet another way to protect your family members if you fear they may be suffering abuse in their old age. Elder abuse is just one of many cases where having a knowledgeable attorney is critical to a successful, and beneficial, resolution. David P. Schroth can help you and your family find an answer to your legal problem—from personal injury to criminal law and beyond. Contact David P. Schroth today to start finding a legal solution that works for you.



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