CACI No. 3117. Financial Abuse - “Undue Influence” Explained

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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3117.Financial Abuse - “Undue Influence” Explained
“Undue influence” means excessive persuasion that overcomes another
person’s free will and causes the person to do something or to not do
something that causes an unfair result. In determining whether [name of
defendant] exerted undue influence on [name of plaintiff], you must
consider all of the following:
a. [Name of plaintiff]’s vulnerability. Factors to consider may
include, but are not limited to, [incapacity/illness/disability/
injury/age/education/impaired mental abilities/emotional distress/
isolation/ [or] dependency], and whether [name of defendant] knew
or should have known of [name of plaintiff]’s vulnerability.
b. [Name of defendant]’s apparent authority. Factors to consider may
include, but are not limited to, [name of defendant]’s position as a
[fiduciary/family member/care provider/health care professional/
legal professional/spiritual adviser/expert/ [or] [specify other
position]].
c. The actions or tactics that [name of defendant] used. Actions or
tactics used may include, but are not limited to, all of the
following:
[(1) Controlling [name of plaintiff]’s necessaries of life, medications,
interactions with others, access to information, or sleep;]
[(2) Using affection, intimidation, or coercion;].
[(3) Initiating changes in personal or property rights, using haste
or secrecy in making those changes, making changes at
inappropriate times and places, and claiming expertise in
making changes.]
d. The unfairness of the result. Factors to consider may include, but
are not limited to, [the economic consequences to [name of
plaintiff]/any change from [name of plaintiff]’s prior intent or
course of conduct or dealing/the relationship between any value
that [name of plaintiff] gave up to the value of any services or
other consideration that [name of plaintiff] received/ [or] the
appropriateness of the change in light of the length and nature of
the relationship between [name of plaintiff] and [name of
defendant]].
Evidence of an unfair result, without more, is not enough to prove undue
influence.
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New June 2014
Directions for Use
Give this instruction with CACI No. 3100, Financial Abuse - Essential Factual
Elements, if undue influence is alleged in element 3 of No. 3100. The instruction
assumes that the person alleged to be exerting undue influence is a named
defendant. Insert that person’s name for “[name of defendant]” throughout even if
the person is not a named defendant. Select relevant evidence in each of the factors.
Sources and Authority
• Undue Influence for Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse. Welfare and Institutions
Code section 15610.70.
• “During the pendency of this appeal, the Legislature amended Welfare and
Institutions Code section 15610.30, subdivision (a)(3) replacing ‘by undue
influence, as defined in Section 1575 of the Civil Code’ with ‘by undue
influence, as defined in Section 15610.70.’ The Legislature added a new section
15610.70 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, defining undue influence as
‘excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by
overcoming that person’s free will and results in inequity,’ and listing factors to
be considered in making an undue influence determination under section
15610.30. . . . Although the new reference to ‘excessive persuasion’ may not be
entirely clear, perhaps calling to mind Aristophanes’s Lysistrata, the Legislature
declared that the newly applied definition is not intended to supersede or
interfere with the common law meaning of undue influence.” (Lintz v. Lintz
(2014) 222 Cal.App.4th 1346, 1356 fn.3 [167 Cal.Rptr.3d 50], internal citations
omitted.)
Secondary Sources
5 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005), Torts § 147
Balisok, Elder Abuse Litigation, §§ 5:1 et seq., 22:9-22:12 (The Rutter Group)
30 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 5, Abuse of Minors and Elderly,
§ 5.49 (Matthew Bender)
3118-3199. Reserved for Future Use
ELDER ABUSE & DEPENDENT ADULTS CACI No. 3117
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