Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation Giving Elder Abuse Victims Greater Support in Court

Continuing his commitment to protect California’s seniors, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed SB 1343 by Senator Jim Battin (R-La Quinta), giving seniors and disabled adults the right to have up to two support persons with them when delivering difficult testimony in cases of elder abuse.

“By allowing a friend or family member in the courtroom while giving difficult testimony, elderly and disabled adults will feel more comfortable coming forward and pressing charges to allow justice to be served. This legislation not only protects this vulnerable community but helps to prevent these types of crimes from happening again,” Governor Schwarzenegger said.

In addition to signing this legislation, Governor Schwarzenegger has previously taken steps to protect California's seniors by:

Giving judges additional tools to provide restitution to elders and dependent adults who are victims of financial abuse through signing SB 611 .
Protecting seniors from unscrupulous lenders when they enter into reverse mortgages through enacting SB 1609.
Safeguarding seniors from financial abuse by requiring bank, savings and loan, and credit union employees who suspect elder financial abuse to immediately notify Adult Protective Services, which investigates reports of elder abuse, or law enforcement authorities through signing SB 1018.
Strengthening penalties for misrepresentation of insurance policies that induce a person to take actions that are not in his or her best interest through signing SB 1273. This bill addresses the financial crime in insurance called "twisting and churning," which often targets senior citizens.
Increasing criminal penalties for elder and dependent adult abuse through enacting AB 2611.