Trusts and Estates

Newman v. Casey

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Cite as A165210
Filed January 30, 2024
First District, Div. One

By Michelle Barnett Batista
Aaron, Riechert, Carpol & Riffle, APC

Headnote:  Elder Abuse Restraining Orders

Summary:  Probate court exceeded its statutory authority under Welfare and Institutions Code section 15657.03 by issuing order declaring deed void ab initio in elder abuse restraining order proceeding.

Gracia filed a request for elder abuse restraining orders (EAROs) against her daughter, Marina.  Gracia alleged that Marina misled Gracia to sign a deed transferring title of her home to Marina.  In her request for EAROs, Gracia also requested an order requiring Marina to sign a rescission deed.  The probate court found that Gracia met her burden of demonstrating financial abuse and issued EAROs with an expiration date of two years.  The probate court further ordered that the transfer deed was void ab initio.  Marina appealed.

The appellate court affirmed in part and reversed in part.  Pursuant to the summary procedure set forth in Welfare and Institutions Code section 15657.03, trial courts may issue any of the specifically enumerated restraining orders in subdivision (b)(5) for a specified duration of time not to exceed five years.  The purpose of the statute is to secure the immediate safety of an elder to prevent further acts of abuse, but it does not supplant other provisions of the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (the Act).  The order declaring the transfer deed void ab initio is not among the specifically enumerated restraining orders and violates the statute’s durational provisions.  Permanent remedies, including the return of property, may be secured through a civil action under other provisions of the Act.

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