Rowan bill fights elderly exploitation

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Del. Ruth Rowan

By Erika Diehl

W.Va. Press Association

CHARLESTON — West Virginia House of Delegates' Committee on Senior, Children, and Family Issues Wednesday had unanimous consent to pass H.B. 2671 - Relating to financial exploitation of elderly persons, protected persons or incapacitated adults.

The bill will now move to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Committee Chair Delegate Ruth Rowan, R- Hampshire, is lead sponsor on the bill.

“We have a lot of our elderly being exploited … Grandparents are being exploited by grandchildren and children. So, that’s what this is addressing.” Delegate Rowan said.

While there were amendments to the bill, most were simply updating language and code numbers but some are intended to further clarify these protections. The bill now addresses the way in which a person may take action: by filing a civil complaint for financial exploitation and/or a petition for a protective order.

HB 2671 was amended so action may be taken not only in the county where the people reside, but also where the financial exploitation occurred. Additionally, any order issued must contain language that violation of the order may result in criminal prosecution.