Q: Can I get a restraining order?
During the COVID 19 outbreak my older sister and I have kept our parents isolated in their home, taking them things as they need and interacting with them from a distance. I called my mom Friday to see what she was doing, and my younger sister, who has been going to work everyday, blew our isolation, and had mom in her car windows up riding her around.
I very nicely explained to younger sis that mom didn't need to p be closed up in a car with her right now, can you please lover her from a distance until this is over.
This 50 year old woman went off on a tangent of other things, amidst that she told me I had no right to tell her what she should or shouldn't do concerning mom and dad, and "y'all should just keep being y'all and doing what y'all do, and I'll keep being me and I'll mind my own business!"
Can I have a restraining order issued to keep her to protect them from her during this infection?
A: This is more of an Elder Law question than Criminal Law. However, you may be able to get an Protection Order in those circumstances, but I’d need to know more about your Mom’s condition.
A: Interesting question and very timely. You are asking for a judgment on a practice matter. A restraining order (which I believe would most appropriately come in the form of an Elder Protection From Abuse Order (EPFA) is very unlikely to be issued on your facts. Are your parents mentally competent? If not, you could attempt to do a Guardianship, which is a probate court proceeding. Again, you are short on facts here in my opinion. You would be well served to ask this question directly to an attorney who practices in your county.
A: The quick answer is no, you can't get a protection from abuse order on behalf of another adult unless you are their guardian. In Alabama, the court does not issue restraining orders, they call it an order for protection from abuse.
If your parents wish to get a protection from abuse order, a preliminary order can be sought from the local Domestic Relations court but will only be issued upon a finding that there likely is abuse. A permanent protection order requires a hearing with all parties (your parents and your sister) present to present their sides. There is no mechanism in Alabama for an order that would expire at the end of the pandemic.
Further, what your sister did would not qualify as abuse. I understand your concern, but the law presumes your parents are capable of telling their daughter that they do not wish to go for a car ride. Unless there is something I missed in which your sister caused physical injury to or threatened physical injury to anyone, she has not broken the law.
I wish you the best in caring for your parents.
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