Andrew Cederdahl

  • Hosted by Iowa Legal Aid
  • Sponsored by AmeriCorps, U.S. Department of Justice - Office for Victims of Crime, Iowa Legal Aid, MetLife Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
  • Service location Des Moines, Iowa
  • Law school University of Iowa College of Law
  • Issue area Elder Abuse
  • Fellowship class year 2016
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship, Elder Justice AmeriCorps

The Project

The Elder Justice AmeriCorps program works to stem elder abuse, including physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

As an Elder Justice Fellow, Andrew assisted vulnerable older Iowans who are often victimized by family, friends, and caretakers without consequence. While there are governmental avenues for addressing elder abuse in Iowa, many victims do not meet certain legal criteria necessary for government intervention. Many times, they also cannot afford or otherwise access an attorney who can help. Andrew vindicated the rights of such Iowans who experienced elder abuse and educated the public about the issue.

Fellowship Highlights

Andrew’s work representing one low-income and disabled older Iowan who was being financially exploited by her Social Security representative payee led to the exploiter’s criminal prosecution after it was discovered the payee had been purchasing steak and beer for herself with the victim’s money. Andrew represented another older, disabled Iowa woman in successfully obtaining an elder abuse protection order against the two adults who had taken over her home, were using drugs inside it, threatening the client, living in squalor, and refusing to leave. In another case, Andrew helped bring to light evidence that his client’s daughter, who had civilly committed the client for mental illness, stole her credit card and went on a spending spree while she was confined.

Next Steps

After the Elder Justice Fellowship, Andrew joined the Consumer Protection Division of the Iowa Department of Justice, where he protects consumers from health fraud, door-to-door sales regulation violations, government imposter scams, fraudulent mailer solicitations, and others. Andrew seeks civil penalties, consumer restitution, and injunctive relief on behalf of Iowa and often prosecutes those who target older Iowans.

Media

Where Are They Now: Equal Justice Works Alumni Reflections Panel

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