Florida Lawsuits: Injunctions and Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult
Unfortunately, Florida guardianship lawyers encounter many cases involving financial exploitation of the elderly or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Palm Beach guardianship lawyers and estate attorneys frequently receive calls from concerned relatives or friends regarding an elderly person being financially exploited or abused. What are the different ways that an elderly person may be financially exploited? How can you detect if your mom or dad is being financially exploited? What should you do if you believe that your elderly relative is being taken advantage of by a caretaker or “friend”? When do you need an experienced West Palm Beach guardianship lawyer?
Alzheimers and Dementia
Many financial exploitation of the elderly or exploitation of a vulnerable adult cases involve elderly people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Due to their vulnerability, exploiters view people with mental illnesses as easy pray. If you suspect that your elderly parent, or disabled friend, is being exploited by his or her caretaker, you may want to read Florida Statute 825.103. You may also want to learn about Florida guardianships.
Florida Adult Guardianships
A family member can file a Florida guardianship for an adult who is no longer able to care for himself. A Florida guardianship can protect an elderly person or disabled person from being financially exploited as long as the appointed guardian can be trusted. In Florida, guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes.
Soldatich v. Jones
A January 22, 2020 Fourth DCA opinion, Soldatich v. Jones, is a great example of a Florida lawsuit involving a caretaker and exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Here, a caretaker appeals from the circuit court’s final order entering an injunction against her for protection against exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
A year after the caretaker began caring for the vulnerable adult, the family filed a petition for injunction against exploitation of a vulnerable adult per Florida Statute 825.1035. This statute explains how to seek an injunction to stop somebody from stealing money or taking advantage of a vulnerable family member or friend.
After the circuit court reviewed the family’s petition per section 825.1035(5), they entered an ex parte temporary injunction against the caretaker. A full hearing was later held. At that hearing, the circuit court orally stated that it was entering a final injunction order without any admissions against the caregiver and without conducting an evidentiary hearing. The order was by agreement. However, the written order contained findings which did not conform with what the court had said orally. Therefore, the appellate court reversed the circuit court’s final injunction order in part and remanded for amendment of the final injunction order.
If you are looking to hire a West Palm Beach guardianship lawyer, call (561)514-0900 ext. 101.