Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
The Catholic Church in Brooklyn, throughout New York State, and across the U.S. has faced numerous issues over the past few decades because of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Pending cases in the New York court system could potentially award hundreds of victims compensation and justice for the harm they faced, holding the Church, its staff, and its administrators responsible for the harm they’ve caused over the years.
If you were subjected to abuse or assault by a priest or member of the clergy in the Catholic Church, contact our Brooklyn attorney for sexual abuse victims of the Catholic Church today. The Law Office of Andrew Shubin has experience helping victims of childhood sexual abuse and institutional sexual abuse, and we may be able to put that experience to use in your case. For a free legal consultation on your case, call us at (814) 826-3586.
Does My Case “Qualify” as Abuse for a Lawsuit Against the Catholic Church in Brooklyn?
Coming forward about your case takes immense courage, and many people might have fears or questions about their case that could lead them to hesitate about coming forward. Our attorney offers free, confidential consultations to help you understand whether the abuse you suffered meets the legal standards of abuse to justify a lawsuit.
In many cases, the definition of what constitutes abuse or molestation is incredibly broad, allowing many people who feel victimized to come forward with strong legal claims. Even if you think that other people might have “had it worse,” that does not invalidate your struggle or negate your right to compensation from abusive priests or a negligent church.
Holding the Catholic Church Responsible for Sexual Abuse Cases in Brooklyn, NYC
The Catholic Church shares responsibility and can be the target of the lawsuit in many cases of sexual abuse by priests and clergymen. In many cases, there is evidence that the Church knew about past allegations against particular priests, but that instead of warning parishioners or removing priests from their jobs in positions of trust, the Church simply moved priests and put other parishioners at risk. In these cases, the Church itself shares clear responsibility and can be held liable for their harm.
Additionally, since priests are Church employees, the institution can often be held responsible for its employees’ errors and actions. This means holding the Church responsible for assault and abuse that occurred on Church property, during Church activities, or in Catholic schools.
When you sue “The Church,” this typically means suing your local subdivision of the Church. For instance, many cases are filed against the Archdiocese of New York or against the Diocese of Brooklyn. Some other cases could be filed against particular parishes, schools, or groups within the church, depending on how far up the issues go. Many cases are linked to decisions that bishops made to keep priests in circulation, stopping the case at the level of the diocese.
Suing Individual Priests and Clergy for Childhood Sexual Abuse in Brooklyn
When you seek justice in court for cases of childhood trauma and sexual abuse involving the Catholic church, the priests themselves will often be defendants in the case alongside the diocese or the school where they worked. Lawsuits against these individuals are not likely to help you get much by way of damages, but holding them accountable in court can be an incredible move forward for victims of trauma.
In some cases, the priest who abused you might have passed away before you had an opportunity to seek justice. This does not necessarily stop your case from moving forward, and you should talk to a lawyer anyway. When cases can be filed against the estate of the deceased abuser or against the institution that shared responsibility, you can still seek damages for your abuse from them instead of the individual.
Time Limit for Filing Lawsuits Against Abusive Catholic Priests and Churches in Brooklyn
New York’s laws regarding the time limit to file claims for sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other abusers have been changing as of the time that this article was written. Generally speaking, victims of sexual abuse have a deadline to file their claim that changes depending on when the abuse occurred. NY’s recent changes to its statute of limitations means that people abused before the legal changes have one deadline and people abused after the deadline have an extended deadline. Many states, including New York, are also using “look-back windows” that waive all statutes of limitations requirements for limited periods, allowing people abused decades ago to sue even if the law would have otherwise blocked their case.
Because this law is fluctuating in New York, it is important to talk to a lawyer about when your case needs to be filed.
If your case is filed too late, it might block your ability to sue in court. However, there might be victims funds set up by the Church that can allow victims to seek some compensation for their harm even if the law blocks their case.
Contact Our Brooklyn Abuse Lawyers for Victims of Catholic Priests and Church Abuse
For help with your case, contact our attorney for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic Church priests today. The Law Office of Andrew Shubin represents victims of sexual abuse and institutional abuse across the country, including victims of the Catholic Church in Brooklyn. Contact our Brooklyn attorney for sexual abuse victims of Catholic Church priests today for a free, confidential legal consultation. Our number is (814) 826-3586.