Laws are in place to protect elders and dependent adults from being abused. “Elder” means age 65 and older. “Dependent adult” means anyone between the ages of 18 and 64 who has physical or mental limitations that restrict his or her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights. The legal definition (Welfare & Institutions Code 15610.23) includes people with developmental disabilities or whose physical or mental abilities have diminished because of age as well as people in this age group who are inpatients in a 24-hour health facility as defined by the Health and Safety Code.
Requests for restraining orders of this type come into court from different sources:
- Organizations such as Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, or Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach;
- Adult Protective Services of the Human Services Agency of San Francisco;
- A conservator may apply on behalf of a conservatee (either as part of the existing conservatorship case or as a separate new elder abuse case);
- A person with power of attorney may apply on behalf of the authorizing person; and
- A qualifying individual may apply on his or her own behalf.
Forms for elder or dependent adult abuse are mandatory. There is no filing fee.
The opening forms are:
- CLETS-001 Confidental CLETS Information
- EA-100 Request for Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Orders
- EA-109 Notice of Court Hearing
- EA-110 Temporary Restraining Order
Persons without an attorney should visit ACCESS for Family Law and Self-Help Services in the Civic Center Courthouse, Room 509, 400 McAllister St., San Francisco, before filing elder abuse forms in Room 103 at Windows 24, 25 or 26. Requests for temporary restraining orders submitted by 10 a.m. will be available for pick-up by 2:30 p.m. the same day. Requests submitted after 10 a.m. will be available for pick-up by 2:30 p.m. the next court day.
Hearings on permanent restraining orders are held in Department 204 on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. A hearing date is assigned by the time the papers are picked up in Room 103. The hearing date will be within 21 days, or 25 days with showing of good cause.
Requests for restraining orders must be personally served on the respondent and a proof of service filed with the Court. The Sheriff’s Department will serve them free of charge (and file the proof of service) if the petitioner takes the papers to Room 456 in the San Francisco City Hall. If service cannot be completed before the hearing, the temporary restraining order may be extended and the hearing continued for two weeks by filing forms EA-115 and EA-116. At the hearing the bench officer may issue a “permanent” restraining order effective for five years. It can be renewed for another five years or permanently.
Elder and dependent adult restraining orders are controlled by Welfare & Institutions Code Sections 15610.07 and 15657.03.