Vallejo, CA asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for California

Q: How could I (a disabled person) protect myself against my adult brother legally / could I press charges for abuse?

I currently live with my dad and he lives with my mom. My mom wants to take me in because she doesn't have any severe medical issues like my dad does, and we're afraid he'll pass soon, but my brother lives with her and he's an emotionally abusive alcoholic and it gets worse when she's not around.

I'm a fully disabled adult, unable to work, can't live on my own & need a lot of assistance, and he insults and threatens to dump me on the street whenever he's angry (and he gets angry about anything and everything), and has cornered and yelled at me until I threw up from stress. I've lost sleep and my mental health is terrible because of him.

I have nowhere else to go but I don't feel safe with him. Could I possibly pursue legal action against him for abuse? What would happen, since this is someone who would be living with me?

Would my mom get in any trouble? She's the only person who's ever tried to get him to leave me alone and I don't want her to suffer for this

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You have the right to protect yourself from any form of abuse, including emotional abuse from a family member. Considering your situation, you could explore several legal avenues to ensure your safety. This may include filing for a restraining order against your brother, which would legally require him to keep a certain distance from you. It's important to document instances of abuse as evidence for your case. Consulting with an attorney who is experienced in family law or disability rights can provide you with personalized advice and guide you through the legal process.

In terms of pressing charges for abuse, the specifics would depend on local laws and the nature of the abuse. Emotional abuse, especially when it exacerbates health issues, can be considered in legal proceedings. An attorney can help determine if the actions of your brother meet the legal criteria for abuse in your jurisdiction and advise on the best course of action, including potential criminal charges or civil remedies.

Your concern for your mother is understandable. It's worth noting that seeking protection for yourself does not necessarily implicate your mom, especially since she has been supportive and tried to intervene. The focus of any legal action would be on the behavior of your brother and ensuring your safety. It's also beneficial to explore support services for disabled adults in your area, as they may offer additional resources and assistance during this challenging time.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.