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National

A look at 15 states making it easier to sue over sex abuse

[billingsgazette.com – 12/3/19]

Eight states and the District of Columbia have established “lookback windows” allowing people to sue no matter how long ago the alleged abuse took place. They can file civil suits against both their alleged abusers such as priests and the church or other institutions where they worked.

NEW YORK — One-year window allowing previously barred suits opened August 14. After that, suits allowed until age 55, up from 23 before the law was passed.

NEW JERSEY — Two-year window opened Dec. 1. After that ends, suits allowed until age 55, up from 20.

CALIFORNIA — Three-year window opens Jan. 1, 2020. Triple damages if cover-up is proven. After window closes, suits allowed until age 40, up from 26.

ARIZONA — Nineteen-month window opened in June. After it closes, suits allowed until age 30, up from 20.

MONTANA — One-year window opened May 7. After that ends, suits allowed until age 27, up from 24.

HAWAII — A previous window for filing old claims was first opened in 2012. It was reopened in 2018 and lasts until April 2020.

VERMONT — Eliminated age limits in May and window never expires.
Seven other states changed statute of limitations so victims could file civil cases alleging abuse later in life. Many states also have “discovery” rules allowing alleged victims to sue even later if they can show they only realized the impact of the abuse in recent years.
ALABAMA — Raised age limit to file to 25 from 21 this year.

Join the discussion

  1. Harry

    Basically, Another feel good law, as most RC would too broke or homeless to sue.

  2. Robert Curtis

    There is a real problem with having little to no time restrictions. The condition called “false memory” is a real condition someone remembers an event that had never actually occurred or had occurred with someone else. There’s a Ted Talk on YouTube discussing the condition.

  3. NorthEastPENN

    @Robert Curtis – yes, “The condition called “false memory” is a real condition someone remembers an event that had never actually occurred or had occurred with someone else.”

    I had thought and was under the impression when this statute of limitations subject started coming up over the past year or so that the single most reason why there is a statute of limitations is due to “false memory”. So are we to understand that this “false memory” does not have any affect on persons that may have been sexually abused 50 years ago and that their memory is as crystal clear as the day it apparently took place? Heck, I’m 63 and I still have a very good memory. Traumatic memory of when I first found out I had legal troubles was very traumatic but for the life of me I can’t remember all the details during that time and that was only 15 years ago. So how in the heck is anyone supposed to remember all details of something going back 20, 25, 50 years? Or maybe it is as simple as saying if someone accuses you of doing something 50 years ago then I guess it is true even if you can’t remember doing it or you never did.

    • Harry

      There is an issue with memory recall professionals that will manufacture memory in individuals.

  4. The Vampire

    Oh here comes the money witches. I would not like to be a famous singer or band or tv actor in this life time. Women are out for the money. The ( me too ) gang are getting laws passed with no problem.

  5. USA

    Interesting. I think you all have it wrong! I bet a lawyer pushed for this. This clearly sets the tone for civil $ suites! I actually (true story) hooked up (yes/true/I won’t lie) with a younger woman (late 20’s) online and had a very kinkyonline fling where we had ex within 60 mins of online chatting. USC Graduate, works with troubled (Director) children for a school district (used a fake email address/name/I found out her real identity later/she freaked) and just so happens has (her name is unique/showed as soon as I googled her name) filed a multi million dollar lawsuit against the gynecologist at USC? I found her to be dishonest, a nympho/requested I do things she accused the Dr of doing and shady. If you saw her, you would have no clue! In (true/honest story) summary, I don’t believe her story and I clearly feel people’s lives could be destroyed by money! True and verifiable story!

    • M C

      @USA, I actually have a friend of mine, not an RSO, that met an adult consenting woman that sounds a bit like this one. I think he slept with her probably 50+ times doing all kinds of kinky things. I had even met her before. All of the sudden she did a complete 180 and started accusing him of abusing her. Legally never went anywhere for her but what a mess that was for him.

    • Will Allen

      Crazy story.

      What we always have to remember is that if people are evil enough (however temporarily or not) to rape a person, then people are certainly evil enough to lie about being raped. And certainly evil enough to lie about being abused in order to get money.

      So I’m not really down with this “believe women” and #metoo crap. I do think it is super important that we all always listen and try to believe (women or men!), but we truly can only pay attention to actual facts. We can’t be convicting people just because someone says something happened. There must be facts.

      And because of the Registries anyway, #fmetoo. We know government can’t be trusted to morally handle $EX crimes. Best to never involve them.

      Only corrupt, criminal regimes have $EX Offender Registries.

  6. USA

    This woman (26-27) attended USC, got an internship for a well known public school district, became the director of student services and is now accusing (it was all over the news) the USC Gynecologist of abusing her? 1. She should (I never thought I would say this) be held at higher standards. She met me at Starbucks/slipped in my car and to be completely honest, had some intriguing fetishes to say the least. I was a bit shocked after finding out her position and history! Didn’t make sense. When I was arrested 20 plus years ago, my attorney represented a young man in a tough/prosecute to the fullest city! The ex accused him of rape! They later found out she lied and had done this to another ex? Disgusting to say the least. In conclusion, I found the young lady I met to clearly (voyeur/exhibitionist/outdoor interests/threesomes/give me your hand/liked older men/doublelist website/using fake name/email) to be questionable. I don’t think most sexual abuse victims hook up with guys online, go to their house and have unprotected sex! ? I think this bill is going to create more heartache then resolution!

    • Ingat Ini

      I think that, it is important to realize that this law is targeted towards “deep pocket” institutions, the SO worked for; and not towards individual SO. If a woman waits until age 39 to get an SB-218 judgement; chances are it would be non-collectable from the individual SO, because of various CCP exemptions. Just look at the OJ Simpson civil case… pensions & SS payments are exempt from collection.

  7. Tim in WI

    1001 reasons why former prosecutors must be barred by oath to abstain from seeking congressional seats. The law must be apparent and clear to basically educated person.
    Our founders knew it would get like this.

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