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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 9389
Experience:  Since 1983
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What authority do the police/social services/elder protection

Resolved Question:

What authority do the police/social services/elder protection services have in the State of California to remove an allegedly abused elder from the home and keep her/him in protective custody without notifying anyone of his/her whereabouts?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
Hello there:

Thank you for entrusting me with your question. Is this an actual or a hypothetical situation? If it is an actual situation, what are the particulars?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It is not a hypo. Pack Rat mom and son live together for 25 plus years. Mom is 93 son is 60. Son takes mom to MD who sees bruises and dirty underware. Bruises are bc she takes cumadin, a drug that causes bruising, and she is incontinent. MD reports to authorities. Police, social services come and take mom against her and the son's will and will not tell us where she is.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for that clarification. How long ago did this occur?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Mom was taken out of the house three weeks ago. Son is afraid that she will pass away thinking he was responsible for her being taken to ....where? He is also concerned that she is in some awful county facility. There are resources to allow us to move her to a nice nursing home or something but we don't know where she is or who is caring for her.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
To your knowledge, has the mother been deemed incompetent?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

they won't give us any info. if you are 5150 in california, they can only keep you for 72 hours but after that isn't there notice to the family??

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
I may not have been clear. When I asked if she had been deemed incompetent, I meant either before or after being taken.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
like deemed incompentent in court? no! mom and son were living in a pack rat home, admittedly. one day social worker and police and paramedics haul mom off to unknown location and have not provided any info to the family as to her whereabouts. hence our originial question, how can they do this??
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 6 years ago.
My opinon is that they had no right to do that and the MD should be sued for malpractice when you get around to it.

As for the immediate problem, the ancient and immediate remedy in this situation is a petition for writ of habeas corpus that commands whoever has her to bring her into Court and show cause why they should allowed to keep her one more minute.

This type of writ is usually filed in a criminal case, but in California and most of the common law world it also applies to anyone being held by anyone on any pretext.

California Penal Code
1473. (a) Every person unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of his
liberty, under any pretense whatever, may prosecute a writ of habeas
corpus, to inquire into the cause of such imprisonment or restraint.

The writ would be filed by her son as her "next friend" but prosecuted in her name.

You can get a free consultation from some of the elder law attorneys listed by location at

I hope this information is helpful.
N Cal Attorney, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 9389
Experience: Since 1983
N Cal Attorney and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer.