Elder Justice in the Courts

The Office of Elder Justice in the Courts (OEJC) was established by the Supreme Court in 2015 to assist the Court in implementing recommendations contained in the 2014 Elder Law Task Force’s Report and Recommendations. 

The OEJC is committed to protecting Pennsylvania’s rapidly growing population of elders from all forms of abuse - whether financial, physical, psychological, or through neglect. 

The OEJC educates judges, court staff, attorneys, guardians, the public, and others about the warning signs of elder abuse, and how to respond to suspected elder abuse. The OEJC also promotes best practices addressing elder abuse and neglect, as well as in the area of guardianship and access to justice in the Commonwealth’s courts.

In addition to education and best practices, the OEJC actively fosters collaboration with other elder justice entities and branches of government to enhance elder Pennsylvanians’ ability to fully participate in legal proceedings.

Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts

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The Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts was established in 2015 to advise the OEJC regarding the implementation of the Elder Law Task Force’s Report and Recommendations regarding best practices, judicial rules, and legislation to benefit elder citizens of the Commonwealth. 

The mission of the Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts is to identify and address elder justice issues affecting the Commonwealth’s elders.

The Advisory Council and OEJC exist to identify areas of need and challenges faced by elders, and to improve the ability of Pennsylvania courts to meet those needs.

The Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts’ Progress Report published in 2019 details the accomplishments of the Advisory Council and OEJC since their creation in 2015.

 

Elder Law Task Force

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In light of the special needs and challenges facing elder Pennsylvanians, in April 2013, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania established a multi-disciplinary Elder Law Task Force to address issues involving guardianships, elder abuse, and access to justice. The Task Force was chaired by Justice Debra Todd, and was comprised of 36 experts in all areas of elder law, bringing together the diverse and critical perspectives of the myriad stakeholders in the aging network. 

In November 2014, the Elder Law Task Force’s Report and Recommendations was issued containing over 130 recommendations to enhance the way Pennsylvania elders interact with the Commonwealth's judiciary.