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House Bill 404 — Financial exploitation of an elder

House Bill 404 — Financial exploitation of an elder

Parrish Miller
February 10, 2020

Bill description: HB 404 makes it a crime to financially exploit anyone over 59 years of age.

Rating: 0

Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the US Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the US Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

HB 404 is intended to protect and secure the property rights of elders (defined in the bill as individuals who are 60 years old or older) by making it a crime to exploit them financially. Any degree of financial exploitation is made a crime, but if it involves more than $1,000, it will be considered a felony. 

HB 404 defines financial exploitation as "the unauthorized taking, withholding, misappropriation, or use of an elder's money, real property, or personal property."

It further states that financial exploitation may be committed by "using coercion, manipulation, threats, intimidation, misrepresentation, or undue influence." The crimes defined in HB 404 involve actual victims suffering harm that can be described, thus justifying penalties and protections as called for in the bill. 


Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Examples include laws which discriminate or differentiate based on age, gender, or religion or which apply laws, regulations, rules, or penalties differently based on such characteristics. Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?

Unfortunately, HB 404 limits its protections only to elders. Laws should be applied equally to all people, regardless of age, gender, religion, or other personal characteristics. 


Analyst's Note: The amendments to HB 404 (made on 3/13) replace the new section, created in the original bill, with a modification to the existing statute. Despite the change in language, the function of the bill remains largely unchanged. 

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