New York Passes Historic Child Victims Act

The New York State Legislature passed a bill on January 28, 2019 that increases the statute of limitations for cases of child sexual abuse. The legislation was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on February 14, 2019 and took effect on August 14, 2019.

The Child Victims Act will allow survivors of child sexual abuse or assaults to seek prosecution against their abuser and their employers until the age of 55 in civil cases, a significant increase from the previous limit of age 23. For criminal cases, victims can seek prosecution until they turn 28. Most importantly, the bill also includes a one-year window during which victims of any age or time limit can come forward to prosecute. That window is open until August 13, 2020.

According to Cuomo’s office, the new law will provide necessary relief to child victims of sexual abuse by amending New York’s antiquated laws to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions, regardless of when the crime occurred.

This legislation:

  • Increases the amount of time during which perpetrators of these crimes may be held criminally accountable;
  • Allows victims of these crimes to commence a civil lawsuit at any time before they reach 55 years of age;
  • Provides victims whose claims have been time-barred a new opportunity for their day in court by opening a one-year window for them to commence their action;
  • Eliminates the need to file a notice of claim for sexual offenses committed against a minor;
  • Requires judicial training with respect to crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors;
  • Authorizes the Office of Court Administration to promulgate rules and regulations for the timely adjudication of revived actions.

Our law firm is ready to help survivors of child sexual abuse bring their claims during this limited time period. We have been working with national experts in this field and have developed a litigation plan and case management system to effectively assist our clients with these very sensitive matters.

Our firm represents many survivors and we work with all of our clients personally to help make sure these matters are handled so that each client is comfortable. There may even be ways to proceed anonymously.

It is our mission to empower our clients and to use this law to bring about a societal change. No longer should abuse be covered up or ignored. No longer should abusers be protected by their employers, whether they are teachers, clergy, coaches or others who have abused their power. Shedding light on abusers will help prevent future generations from suffering in a way that was acceptable to churches, schools, boy scout or girl scout troops and other institutions in generations past. It is our belief that this law will protect the next generation of children. If abusers know that survivors of their abuse will take legal action against them, they will be less likely to commit these serious offenses. We take our mission seriously and personally.

We are here to help you. Call us today – (212) 532-7575