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Legal Information: Puerto Rico

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 25, 2023

What is the legal definition of abuse of the elderly?

This section defines abuse of the elderly for the purposes of getting an order of protection. Abuse is when an elderly person has been a victim of physical, mental or psychological abuse, harassment, coercion, intimidation, emotional abuse, or any other crime.1 The law defines some of these terms:

  • Coercion: Physical or psychological force or violence committed against a person to compel (force) him/her to say or do something or to compel (force) him/her to not say or do something.2
  • Financial exploitation: Inappropriate use of an elderly person’s funds, property, or resources by another person, including fraud, false claims, embezzlement, conspiracy, forgery of documents, falsification of records or records, coercion, transfer of ownership or denying the elderly person access to his/her assets.3
  • Intimidation: Actions or words that occur repeatedly and have the effect of applying moral pressure on the intention/will of an elderly person. For fear of suffering physical or emotional harm to him/herself, his/her property or to another person, the elderly person is compelled (forced) to perform an act against his/her will.4
  • Abuse: Cruel or negligent treatment of an elderly person that causes harm or exposes him/her to risk of suffering harm to his/her health, welfare or property. It includes physical, emotional, and financial abuse, neglect, abandonment, assault, theft, illegal appropriation, threat, fraud, breach of correspondence, age discrimination, civil rights restriction, exploitation and sexual abuse, among others. T his abuse can be done by doing or not doing something and can be carried out by anyone.5
  • Negligence: Failure to give food, clothing, shelter or medical care to an elderly person.6
  • Family violence: Doing something or not doing something that affects the peace and harmony of family life, specifically something that causes or may cause damage or physical, sexual, psychological, economic and patrimonial suffering.7

1 8 L.P.R.A. § 1519
2 8 L.P.R.A. § 1513(6)
3 8 L.P.R.A. § 1513(9)
4 8 L.P.R.A. § 1513(14)
5 8 L.P.R.A. § 1513(15)
6 8 L.P.R.A. § 1513(17)
7 8 L.P.R.A. § 1513(23)