Statutes of Limitations Bringing Child Sex Abuse Claims

New York sex abuse victim attorney, James Marsh, discusses the variety of statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases (or time limit to bring a claim).

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Unfortunately, in the area of child sexual abuse one of the biggest challenges is something called the statute of limitations. Each state has them, the federal government and federal law also has them, and that is the limitation period in which time you can bring a claim. Usually we’re talking about civil claims but it can also apply to criminal prosecutions. And a statute of limitations for a child sexual abuse in many states has been elongated or sometimes turned into decades. But for the biggest frustration that we face in dealing with clients and victims of child sexual abuse is a very short statute of limitation. Certain states like New York you’re looking at two or three years in which to bring a claim. So even though there’s been some sensitivity to this issue and some law reform that’s gone on around the country, we are constantly frustrated with the fact that we see victims sometimes they’re even in their early 20’s and this is something that happened when they were younger or even 16 or 17. And with these very limited statutes of limitation, they really don’t have any legitimate remedies at this point going forward. That’s our biggest challenge. And so individuals who are grappling with this or facing this in their own lives or have questions about it really, you know, need to act quickly in order to secure their rights and make sure that they can achieve justice both civil justice and criminal justice.

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