Washington State House of Representatives Passes Bill to Protect Elderly From Theft, Abuse

A measure aimed at limiting people’s ability to steal from or abuse vulnerable adults cleared the state House Monday. House Bill 1316 would require people to be arrested without a warrant if they violate temporary protection orders banning them from contact with vulnerable adults, such as the elderly or people with disabilities. Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said the change would prove particularly helpful when someone is suspected of gaining access to an infirm or elderly person’s bank account. Right now, a victim or a victim’s family member can apply for a temporary protection order against someone they suspect of taking advantage of a vulnerable adult. But it can take up to a few weeks for a court to hold a hearing determining whether a permanent protection order is warranted in such cases, Lindquist said. And during that waiting period, police are not able to arrest someone for violating the temporary court order unless they go to court and get a warrant — a process that also takes time, he said. “We want to be able to move quickly before the bank account is bled dry,” Lindquist said. Police are already able to arrest people without a warrant for violating a temporary protection order in domestic abuse cases. Lindquist said he thinks the same rules should apply to temporary orders protecting vulnerable adults.

Source/more: The News Tribune

David Wingate is an elder law attorney. He practices in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland. The elder law practice comprises of wills, powers of attorneys, trusts, asset protection and Medicaid.

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