elderly woman in an arm sling


Theresa lives in a trailer on a rural piece of land she inherited from her father. She is developmentally disabled, and a series of strokes had limited her even more. Her son moved in with her and began behaving erratically, destroying things, and refusing to muzzle his aggressive pit bull. One day the dog attacked Theresa and ripped her arm to the bone. After being hospitalized for several surgeries and grafts, she was afraid to come home and instead stayed with a friend. She tried to apply for a restraining order, but was told by the court clerk she could not appear by phone. Legal aid took her case and reapplied, citing the statute that allows an elder or disabled person to testify for a restraining order by phone. She told the judge about her son’s violence and her fear. The judge granted the restraining order and her son was removed by the police. She is able to feel secure in her home again.

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