How do I protect a disabled person or an elderly person from abuse?
If you are the guardian or guardian ad litem for an elderly or disabled person, you may get a restraining order under the Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act to stop another person from threatening or abusing the person you represent.
You are eligible for a restraining order under the elderly persons and persons with disabilities act if:
You are 65 years of age or older AND you are NOT a resident of a long-term care facility;
You are a “person with disabilities” because you have a physical or mental disability and one of the criteria listed below applies to you:
- you are mentally retarded or developmentally disabled and reside in or need placement in a residential program administered by the Seniors and People with Disabilities (SPD) Department of Human Services, or
- you are mentally or emotionally disturbed and reside in or need placement in in a residential program administered by SPD, or
- you are an alcohol or drug abuser and reside in or need placement in a residential program administered by SPD, or
- you have a physical or mental disability other than those described above, or
- you have experienced an injury to the brain caused by extrinsic forces where the injury results in the loss of cognitive, psychological, social, behavioral, or physiological function for a sufficient time to affect your ability to perform the activities of daily living
You are a guardian or guardian ad litem for an elderly or disabled person who meets the eligibility requirements described above
The abuse was committed within 180 days* preceding the filing of the petition (*any period of time after the abuse occurred during which the respondent was in jail or prison or lived more than 100 miles from your home does not count as part of the 180 day time period, and you may still be eligible for a restraining order)
You are in immediate and present danger of further abuse from the respondent;
You are a victim of one or more of the kinds of abuse listed below:
- physical injury caused by other than accidental means, or that appears to be at variance with the explanation given of the injury;
- neglect that leads to physical harm through withholding of services necessary to maintain health and well-being;
- abandonment, including desertion or willful forsaking of you or the withdrawal or neglect of duties and obligations owed to you by a caregiver or other person;
- willful infliction of physical pain or injury;
- use of derogatory or inappropriate names, phrases or profanity, ridicule, harassment, coercion, threats, cursing, intimidation, or inappropriate sexual comments or conduct of such a nature as to threaten you with significant physical or emotional harm;
- wrongful taking or appropriation of your money or property, or alarming you by threatening that your money or your property would be wrongfully taken or appropriated, and you reasonably believed that threat would be carried out;
- sexual contact that you did not consent to, or sexual contact tho which you were incapable of consenting.
You cannot request a restraining order against a person who is your current court appointed guardian or conservator. If you believe you are being subjected to abuse by you court appointed guardian or conservator, you should notify the judge in the court where the guardianship or conservator-ship is pending and consult with an attorney.
If you are an elderly person or a person with disabilities, and a “Guardian Petitioner” files a petition on your behalf, you retain the right to:
- contact and retain counsel;
- have access to personal records;
- file objections to the restraining order;
- request a hearing; and
- present evidence and cross-examine witnesses at any hearing
If you need assistance filling out the paperwork, or if you just need to talk to someone, please contact an advocate at the Illinois Valley Safe House Alliance at 535 East River Street, Cave Junction, OR. You can call us at 541-592-2515.