What should I do if I am in a state that has a short statute of limitations that has already passed?
New York sex abuse victim attorney, James Marsh, explains how child victims of sex abuse can approach bringing a case in a state with a limited statute of limitations.
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Our biggest frustration and the biggest disappointment we have in dealing with childhood victims of sexual assault is that the statutes of limitations have often passed by the time the clients reach us. And in those states which have very short statutes of limitations have likely not experienced any sort of law reform around this issue. I know New York has not engaged in law reform around this issue; other states have. And as part of most of the law reform that goes with statutes of limitations many states are opening up a window, which is a limited period of time that victims can bring claims that have already lapsed. So if you’re in a state or in a jurisdiction where the statute of limitation has passed and there hasn’t been any significant law reform it is possible that in the future whether it be a year or three years or five years or ten years that the state will also have law reform in which there will be a window that those victims can at least file their claims. Obviously, with the statute of limitation, it doesn’t mean that you win your claim you still have to prove all of the facts, which can be very difficult, but you’ll have an opportunity to at least bring that claim and try to achieve some kind of a civil justice.