Schmidt v. Noonkester

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Elder Law
  • Date Filed: 07-26-2017
  • Case #: A156066
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garret, J. for the court; Ortega, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 124.110(1)(a), an action for financial elder abuse may be brought “[w]hen a person wrongfully takes or appropriates money or property of a vulnerable person."

Plaintiffs appealed the trial court’s judgement that awarded declaratory relief and found for the Plaintiffs' contract claim. Plaintiffs assigned error to the trial court’s failure to grant Plaintiffs' motion for a directed verdict. On appeal, Plaintiffs argued that ORS 124.110(1)(a) requires that a defendant “demonstrate any ‘taking’ of property or money,” and therefore, Defendant’s counterclaim of financial elder abuse failed as a matter of law. In response, Defendant argued that the requirements of ORS 124.110(1)(a) were met because the Plaintiff coerced Defendant to sign the settlement agreement and also threatened to take away Defendant’s only access to Defendant’s property. Under ORS 124.110(1)(a), “[a]ction for financial elder abuse may be brought when a person wrongfully takes or appropriates money or property of a vulnerable person.” The Court of Appeals held that ORS 124.110(1)(a) requires clear proof of a wrongful taking of money or property from the vulnerable person. Thus, there was no financial elder abuse because Defendant argued that the lawsuit was an “arrangement to take” money or property, without clear evidence to back up that statement. Reversed. 

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