Skip to content

September 17, 2002

For More Information, Contact:
Kristina Loquist at (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today that Assembly Bill 2140, designed to combat elder abuse, passed out of the State Legislature and has been signed into law by the Governor. Simitian’s bill earned widespread, bipartisan support along the way.

“As our population ages, the problem of elder abuse will inevitably get worse if we don’t do something to stop it,” said Simitian.  “AB 2140 will help protect our seniors and dependent adults from physical abuse by increasing punishments for those who batter our elders.”

AB 2140 establishes a new crime – “battery on an elder or dependent adult” – and sets the punishment at a fine of not more than $2,000 and/or imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year.  These enhancements put elder battery on par with battery of a peace officer or spouse.  The maximum penalties in Simitian’s AB 2140 double those in existing law.

Rolanda Pierre Dixon, of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, testified on behalf of the bill when it was heard in Committee and shared her personal experience,  “With disturbing regularity, I see domestic violence cases in which a third-party elder or dependent adult is battered along with the defendant’s intended target victim.  It’s been frustrating not to have more effective penalties available when prosecuting these criminals. I’m pleased that Assemblyman Simitian’s bill will remedy this oversight.”

James Fox, District Attorney for San Mateo County, said, “Simitian’s bill will give my office a better ability to prosecute those who harm some of the most vulnerable members of our community.  Our elderly and dependent adults deserve this extra increment of protection.  Often they may be frail, on various medications, or mentally or physically impaired.”

The bill would also protect elders when they are a third party victim, and not the primary or intended victim.

Simitian’s bill is supported by the Congress of California Seniors, Crime Victims United of California, the California District Attorneys Association, the San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities, and the Gray Panthers.