44 lawsuits against the Diocese of Rockville Center in Long Island will move forward as Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Stephen Jaeger recently ruled that the Child Victims Act did not violate the Diocese’s due process rights.
The Diocese filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuits against it in the fall of 2019, arguing that the Child Victims Act look back window, allowing anyone to file a sexual abuse lawsuit, regardless of when it occurred, was a violation of due process.
Judge Jaeger disagreed.
“Based on this legislative history, the Court finds the Child Victims Act is a reasonable response to remedy the injustice of past child sexual abuse,” he wrote in his decision. “Accordingly, it does not violate defendant diocese’s right to due process under the New York State Constitution.”
This decision was based, in part, on the precedent set by previous rulings which held that adjustments of statutes of limitations for the purpose of fixing past injustices are permissible.
Formerly, those who were sexually abused as children could only bring civil and criminal claims up until the age of 23.
Under the Child Victims Act, signed by Governor Cuomo on February 14, 2019, victims can now bring civil claims up until the age of 55 and criminal claims up until the age of 28.
As of August 14, 2019, even those who were previously time-barred by the statute of limitations are permitted to file claims during a look back window which Governor Cuomo recently extended until January 14, 2021 .
Judge Jaeger’s decision and the extension of the look-back window represent a step in the right direction for achieving justice for victims of childhood sexual abuse. If you are seeking justice for yourself, please call us for a free and completely confidential consultation at 716-542-5444.