DO YOU GET A JURY TO DECIDE AN ELDER ABUSE ACCUSATION?

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a New Jersey Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Attorney
When a criminal case for elderly abuse is filed, an accused person is entitled to a jury trial on civil and criminal legal claims but not on equitable claims.  An elder financial abuse action is most often a legal action against the abuser for the return of the elder’s misappropriated funds and as such, is a legal action in which the abuser is entitled to a jury trial.  Because the extent of misappropriation is oftentimes unknown, an accounting claim may be brought together with the elder financial abuse claim.

The right to jury trial in New Jersey is not eliminated simply because the matter may be filed in or consolidated with an ongoing probate proceeding.

A bench trial before a Judge is different from a jury trial.  In a bench trial, a judge determines all questions of law and decides questions of fact, whereas in a jury trial the judge is responsible for questions of law and the jury is the decider of facts.  In general, bench trials are governed by the same evidence and pretrial rules as jury trials.  The rules of evidence and procedural methods are the same in both.

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey elder abuse and financial exploitation matter.  I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns.  You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.