Long Island, NY Church Sex Abuse Lawyer
If you were—at any point in time—a victim of sex abuse by church priests, pastors, or clergy , a change in New York sexual abuse laws has re-opened and widened the door that lets you file a lawsuit against the Church.
Two key provisions of this new law are:
- Victims of sexual abuse in New York of any age have one year to file a civil case beginning August 14, 2019 and continuing until August 14, 2020. This window is open to victims who were previously time barred, previously had their case dismissed, or who have never filed a civil case.
- After the one-year window, any child sex abuse victim in New York who has not filed a civil case will have until the age of 55 to file a lawsuit against the church or institution.
Since 1991, Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. has served as passionate advocates for the injured. We understand that the injuries you have suffered—emotional and otherwise—stem from behavior of the most egregious sort, and you deserve compensation.
New York Child Victims Act Gives Church Sex Abuse Victims New Rights
In February 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Child Victims Act. The act represents significant changes in rules governing criminal and civil actions for sexual offenses committed against children.
If you are a victim of church sex abuse in New York, you will want to understand these changes because some of the new rules are time-sensitive, meaning your window of opportunity will close at some point.
How New York’s New Child Sex Abuse Law Affects Civil Lawsuits
Three key provisions of New York’s Child Victims Act affect civil lawsuits:
- Sexual Abuse Victims of Any Age Can Sue for One Year, No Matter When the Abuse Happened
If you were a victim of child sex abuse, you have a one-year window of opportunity to file a civil lawsuit against your abuser and any institution that covered up your abuse. It does not matter how old you are today, and it does not matter how long ago you suffered the sexual abuse. New York is opening the legal system’s door to anyone who has had to suffer in silence all these years.
You have one year from the statute’s effective date of August 14, 2019—meaning you have from August 14, 2019 to August 14, 2020 to file your lawsuit if you were previously barred from doing so due to the state’s previous statute of limitations, no matter what your age is now.
For victims who suffered for years before they were able to take the courageous step of filing a claim against their abusers—only to find the statute of limitations had expired—this one-year “look-back” window offers a rare, restorative opportunity.
You will want to reach out to a lawyer now to begin preparing your case so you can file as early as possible, rather than risk this timeframe slipping away. Call a Long Island, NY church sex abuse lawyer at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today at 516-932-0400 for a free case review.
- Sexual Abuse Victims Can Sue Their Abusers Until the Victim’s 55th Birthday
After the one-year period, any victim of child sex abuse who has not filed a civil case now has until they reach the age of 55 to file lawsuits against their abusers and the institutions that covered up the abuse.
This change marks a dramatic departure from the previous statutes of limitations, which stifled legal action from so many victims by giving them only until their 21st birthday to file legal action.
- Sexual Abuse Victims Can Sue Public and Private Institutions
You no longer are required to follow a notice of claim requirement for bringing a lawsuit against a public institution. The strict guidelines imposed by New York’s notice of claim requirements, when not adhered to, result in the court’s dismissal of the claim against the government body. New York’s new child sex abuse laws explicitly eliminate this requirement.
How New York’s New Child Sex Abuse Law Affects Criminal Charges
As a child victim of church sex abuse, you will likely want to know if and how New York’s new child sex abuse law affects criminal charges against abusers. They do, and here is how:
Victims of Child Sexual Abuse Can Press Criminal Charges Up Until the Victim’s 28th Birthday
You can press criminal charges against your abuser until you reach your 28th birthday for felony charges and until you reach your 25th birthday for misdemeanor charges. This extends the previous criminal statute of limitations or child sexual abuse offenses by five years.
Civil Claims Will Be Facilitated by Evidence From NY Diocesan Records
Most New York dioceses have also released the names of credibly accused clergy members to the public, further facilitating civil actions against abusers and institutions. As of June 23, 2019, the Rockville Centre diocese on Long Island was the only New York diocese to not release its list. In a statement to Newsday, a spokesperson for the diocese said the Rockville Centre Diocese will release its list to the public later in 2019 after the diocese has completed its Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP).
New York Dioceses’ IRCP Program Seeks to Settle Claims Out of Court
The IRCP uses a mediator appointed by the Archbishop of New York to reach settlement agreements with church sex abuse survivors with the condition that the victims agree not to sue the diocese.
A Long Island, NY church sex abuse lawyer from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. can represent you in this IRCP mediation to maximize your compensation from the church .
Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today to speak to us about representing you in your mediated settlement agreement via any New York diocese’s IRCP: 516-932-0400.
This is Your Time for Justice as a Victim of Church Sex Abuse
As someone who suffered church sex abuse as a child, you understand the magnitude of these changes to how New York empowers sex abuse victims. Please do not let the window of opportunity close on you after you have been made to suffer so many years with no acknowledgment of these offenses and no restitution for your suffering . Now is your time to receive compensation and some measure of justice that, hopefully, will support your healing process.
Let a Long Island, NY church sex abuse lawyer help you file your claim against your abuser and the institution that covered up your abuse. Our multilingual staff stand ready to help you in English, Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, or Kannada, and our compassionate legal team will guide you to the resolution for which you have waited so patiently.
Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today at 516-932-0400, so we can avail ourselves of this moment of clarity regarding child sexual abuse and pursue your claim with urgent priority.