APS IH September 2014
Black’s Law Dictionary (Seventh Edition) defines undue influence as: the improper use of power or trust in a way that deprives a person of free will and substitutes another’s objective.
Adult Protective Services considers undue influence from alleged perpetrators or others when an alleged victim refuses to cooperate with an APS investigation or refuses protective services. An alleged victim who has the capacity to consent to or refuse protective services can still be unduly influenced.
Characteristics of undue influence include the following behavioral patterns:
• Physical or mental dependency on the perpetrator
• Isolation from social contacts or information
• Emotional manipulation by the perpetrator
• Surrender of control of finances or property to the perpetrator
It is difficult to substantiate a disposition of Valid for a financial exploitation allegation if the disposition is based solely on undue influence, especially when the alleged perpetrator is a relative of the alleged victim.
APS IH September 2014
To ensure the alleged victim is not refusing to cooperate with the investigation, or is not refusing to accept APS services because of undue influence from the alleged perpetrators or other persons, the APS specialist:
• initiates the case with someone other than the alleged victim;
• does not interview the alleged victim by phone during the course of the investigation, as the alleged perpetrator may be in the room during the conversation. The alleged perpetrator may become angry with the alleged victim for speaking with the APS specialist;
• ensures that the alleged victim has the opportunity to speak with the APS specialist in a safe environment and that the alleged perpetrator is not in the vicinity of the interview location;
• attempts to develop rapport with the alleged victim;
• attempts to assist the alleged victim in seeing his or her relationship with the alleged perpetrator in a different way;
• attempts to involve family or friends in an effort to decrease the alleged victim’s isolation;
• observes the alleged victim for indications of fear, nervousness, or any other signs indicating discomfort with the discussion;
• offers all possible alternatives for protective service;
• ensures the alleged victim understands his or her situation and the right to refuse to cooperate with the investigation or accept protective services;
• assesses for indicators that the alleged victim may lack the capacity to consent to protective services; and
• notifies law enforcement if the APS specialist, APS supervisor, or subject matter expert (SME) have cause to believe abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation constitutes a criminal offense under any law.
2260 Alleged Victim Refuses to Cooperate With APS Investigation
2421 Procedure for Assessing Indicators of a Lack of Capacity to Refuse or Consent to or Refuse Protective Services
2423 Procedure for Seeking Medical or Mental Health Evaluations
2641 Procedure When Alleged Victim Dies Before the Initial Face-to-Face Is Completed