Trusts and Estates

Gordon B. v. Gomez

Cite as 22 Cal.App. 5th 92
Filed April 10, 2018, Second District, Div. One

By Daniel C. Kim
Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin Law Corporation
www.weintraub.com

On August 21, 2015, Gordon B., a 75-year-old disabled veteran, obtained an elder abuse restraining order against his neighbor, Sergio Gomez, based on various acts of misconduct including destruction of personal property, verbal abuse, obscene gestures, attempts to run over Gordon B. with a pickup truck, and setting off large fireworks on Gordon B.’s driveway. The order followed an evidentiary hearing and was effective for one year. Prior to its expiration, Gordon B. filed a request to renew the restraining order based on concerns that the abuse would resume once the order was terminated. He cited to two incidents in which Gomez had arguably violated the restraining order. The trial court denied the request finding that Gordon B.’s concerns were too speculative and that he had insufficient evidence for a renewal.

The appellate court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. Under the proper standard, the party requesting renewal need only show by a preponderance of the evidence that the protected party has a reasonable apprehension of future abuse if the order is not renewed. This means that the evidence must demonstrate it is more probable than not there is a sufficient risk of future abuse to find the protected party’s apprehension is genuine and reasonable. The trial court erred in requiring evidence of further abuse since the initial order, which is expressly not required under the applicable statutes.

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B278083.PDF

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