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Wisconsin Adults-at-Risk
Chapter 55 Manual
(PDF,1.07 MB)

In 2006, the state Legislature passed three major pieces of legislation affecting protection of adults and elder adults from abuse, neglect and exploitation, and reforming the guardianship and adult protective services laws. These Acts, with their effective dates, are:

2005 Wisconsin Act 387 (2005 Senate Bill 391), revising the guardianship laws and renumbering the guardianship laws to put them in a new Ch. 54. 2005 Wisconsin Act 264 (2005 Assembly Bill 785), revising the laws on protective services and placement. 2005 Wisconsin Act 388 (2005 Assembly Bill 539), revising and expanding the laws on reporting and responding to abuse, financial exploitation, neglect and self-neglect of elder adults at risk and other adults at risk.

This manual is written to describe the law as it exists AFTER the effective dates of these changes.

The goal of this manual is to describe the elder-adult-/adult-at-risk, guardianship and protective services laws in Wisconsin in an understandable way, to emphasize parts of the statutes and issues that are important, and to organize the information in a useful and functional way for people responsible for implementing the laws. It often uses language that is more understandable than the statute.

It is intended to assist individuals-at-risk system and adult protective services system workers, and others who are working with attorneys, to understand the process, to know what the law can (and cannot) potentially achieve, and to know what will be needed to obtain legal remedies.

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Last Revised:  July 12, 2010