Monday, June 13, 2011

Elder Court in California

In Contra Costa County California cases involving harm to a senior get heard in a specialized Elder Court. The project brings together a wide variety of partners to help seniors get access to justice in ways that respond directly to their unique needs. The partners include senior peer counselors (who provide help and reassurance before and after court), legal self-help support, geriatricians from the local university, pro bono project, senior legal services, elder mediation, and follow up.

Elder Court handles a variety of casetypes, too. Criminal cases, conservatorships, financial abuse, physical abuse, civil cases, restraining orders, small claims, and more. Some types of cases are automatically docketed in Elder Court, others are referred by other judges or other lawyers.

The Court is in session every Tuesday. "The judges are specially trained, too, in cognitive functioning, aging, and elder abuse. It sharpens their insight."

Read an interview with an Elder Court judge at


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