Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders

Jennifer Horwitz Law helps clients in Seattle and throughout Washington State obtain orders of protection, including vulnerable adult protection orders. If you fear that a family member or another adult is at risk of harm, a protection order can help to address the situation. 

Lead attorney Jennifer Horwitz is well known as a dedicated advocate who works to protect vulnerable adults from abuse and defends clients against unwarranted protection orders. When you work with Jennifer, she will provide trustworthy advice and guidance. Contact Jennifer Horwitz Law today for a consultation. 

How To Protect Vulnerable Adults in Washington State

Vulnerable adult protection orders can help protect vulnerable adults who are subject to abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or abandonment by family members, caregivers, or others who abuse their position of trust.

This type of protection order can be filed by a state agency or by an “interested person” who can show the court:

  • They are interested in the vulnerable adult’s welfare
  • They have a good faith belief that court intervention is necessary
  • The vulnerable adult is unable, due to incapacity, undue influence, or duress, to protect their interests

“Vulnerable adults” include a person:

  • 6o years of age or older lacking the functional, mental, or physical ability to care for themselves
  • Deemed incapacitated or has a developmental disability
  • Admitted to a facility or receiving care from a home health aide, hospice, home care agency, or individual healthcare provider

Jennifer Horwitz understands how frightening it is when a vulnerable family member, a close friend, or a neighbor is being abused or neglected and will work closely with you to obtain an order of protection.

How a Vulnerable Adult Protection Order Helps

These protection orders allow the courts to:

  • Bar the alleged offending party from the vulnerable adult’s residence for a specified period
  • Prohibit the alleged offending party from coming or remaining within a specified distance of the vulnerable adult’s dwelling 
  • Restrain the alleged offending party from committing acts of abandonment, abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation against the vulnerable adult
  • Prohibit the alleged offending party from contacting the vulnerable adult for a specified period
  • Restrain the transfer of the alleged offending party’s and/or vulnerable adult’s property for a specified period
  • Require the alleged offending party to provide the court with an accounting of the disposition of the vulnerable adult’s income or resources

Obtaining a Vulnerable Adult Protection Order

Vulnerable adult protection orders can be filed by the vulnerable adult or by an interested party. To obtain an order of protection, you must petition the Superior Court in the county in which the vulnerable adult resides. If they have relocated to avoid abuse, you must file in the county where they now live. The petition must include a declaration and evidence that supports your claim, such as police reports, photos, bank records, and emails detailing the abuse or financial exploitation.

A judge will determine whether to issue a temporary protection order and, if so, schedule a hearing within 14 days to hear arguments. If the petition is granted, the court will issue a vulnerable adult protection order for up to 5 years, which the court can extend if necessary. 

Unlike a criminal case in which the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt, you must prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. While this seems straightforward, obtaining a court order to protect a vulnerable adult in Washington State is challenging, which makes having an experienced Seattle protection order attorney essential. 

How Our Firm Can Help

Jennifer Horwitz has extensive experience handling complex, emotionally charged protection order cases. She has the knowledge and skills to guide you through obtaining a vulnerable adult protection order. When you meet with Jennifer, she will take the time to listen to your story and determine how to handle your case. You can depend on her to:

  • Gather and organize the evidence
  • Complete and file the court petition
  • Represent you at the hearing
  • Enforce the order if necessary

Above all, Jennifer Horwitz will handle your case diligently and fight to achieve a positive outcome. 

While abuse, neglect, and exploitation of a vulnerable adult are heinous, what happens if someone falsely accuses you of abusing or neglecting a vulnerable adult? This can occur when there are conflicts among family members about caring for an adult or managing their finances. You can depend on Jennfier to vigorously defend you against the order. 

Contact Our Experienced Seattle Protection Order Attorney

If you need assistance obtaining or defending against a vulnerable adult protection order, turn to Jennifer Horwitz Law. Time is of the essence. Contact Jennifer today so she can start working on your case.