The New York State Legislature passed a bill on January 28, 2019, which Governor Cuomo signed on Feb. 14, 2019, that will increase the statute of limitations for cases of child sexual abuse. The Child Victims Act will allow child victims to seek prosecution against their abuser until the age of 55 in civil cases, a significant increase from the previous age of 23. For criminal cases, victims can seek prosecution until they turn 28. The bill also includes a one-year window during which victims of any age or time limit can come forward to prosecute.
Statutes of limitations are laws that specify how much time a person has to file a lawsuit against a company or an individual. Once this period of time or “statutory deadline” has passed, it is no longer possible to file a claim or case related to the incident or event.
The Child Victims Act provides for a one-year window during which victims of any age whose claims had previously expired can come forward to file suit. However, those victims will not be able to commence their lawsuits until six months after the bill becomes law. For people who were abused as children but did not bring claims before age 23, those victims may file a lawsuit starting on Aug. 14, 2019, but only have one year to do so.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on Feb. 14, 2019.
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