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Reporting Elder Abuse in California

Generally, in California any concerned person who noticed elder abuse may make a report. There is also a list of certain persons who are required to make reports.

The List of Persons Who Are Required to Report Elder Abuse

  • Administrators
  • Supervisors
  • Any licensed staff of a facility which provides care or services for elder
  • Any elder or dependent adult care
  • Custodian
  • Health practitioner
  • Clergy member
  • An employee of a county adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency
  • Any person who has assumed responsibility for the care or custody of an elder
  • Officers and employees of financial institutions

When Must a Person Make a Report About the Elder Abuse?

A person must make a report as soon as possible by telephone, followed by a written report or Internet report through the confidential Internet reporting tool within two working days.

Reporting Physical Abuse

In case of physical abuse, and it has occurred in a long-term care facility, a person must make a to both law enforcement the ombudsmen.

Reporting Serious Bodily Injury

In case of serious bodily injury, the reporter must within two hours contact law enforcement and make a report to the ombudsmen within twenty-four hours.

Reporting Less Than Serious Bodily Injury

The mandatory reporter has twenty-four hours to contact the ombudsman and law enforcement in case of less than serious bodily injury.

What Information Must Be Reported?

According to the law mandated reporters are obliged to report:

  • Actual or suspected physical abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Abandonment
  • Isolation
  • Neglect

Legislative Protection to the Mandatory Reporter

Under California law, a mandatory reporter cannot be held civilly or criminally liable for a report of elder abuse made in good faith. Moreover, mandatory reporters do not have any legal duty to investigate the report of elder abuse. They are only obliged to make that report.

Legal Consequences of Failure to Report Elder Abuse

The mandatory reporter who fails to report physical abuse, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or neglect of an elder will face:

  • Up to six months in a county jail
  • A fine of $1,000

The mandatory reporter who physical abuse, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or neglect where that abuse caused great bodily injury or death of an elder will face:

  • Up to one year in a county jail
  • A fine of $5,000.

In case the officer or an employee of a financial institution fails to report financial abuse, he will face

  • A fine of $1000 or
  • A fine of $5000 in case the failure to report is intentional.

Do you have any questions that we have not covered in this article? Get in touch with KAASS Law for more information and legal assistance.


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