[Professor Rebecca Morgan, Faculty Chair in Elder Law, Stetson University, Florida, speaks as we see a judge presiding over a courtroom.]
Rebecca Morgan: It’s important that everybody involved in the court process understand that there are certain things that need to be done in order to provide access to justice.
[Title screen displays “Responding to Elder Abuse: What Judges and Court Personnel Should Know.”]
[Locator on screen: Iberia Parish, Louisiana]
[Judge John Conery, 16th Judicial District, Louisiana, speaks as we see the entrance of the court building and scenes of courtroom activity.]
Judge Conery: We were in a misdemeanor court, and a man comes up charged with simple battery. And he decides to plead guilty. He’s 85 years old, a World War II vet, retired barber, and he gives me this story that his wife is in a nursing home.
[Judge Conery speaks over a photograph of an older couple and a scene of him speaking at the bench.]
Judge Conery: And he just kind of got a little excited when she wouldn’t listen and pulled her hair to get her to listen. And so I just gave him a fine and let him get on his way. Come to find out his wife had been admitted to the nursing home because he had abused her and neglected her.
Frankly I was shocked. At that time I didn’t know what to look for. I didn’t know to ask any questions about elder abuse or anything else. I had no training. So I just completely dropped the ball on that case.
[End of video clip.]