Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
It can take years for survivors of church sexual abuse to realize the wrongs done to them. Unfortunately, because there is no national statute of limitations, they might lose their right to sue before they can file a lawsuit. It’s important for survivors to understand the filing deadline in their state and to not lose hope if it seems that the deadline has already passed.
Currently, there is no federal statute of limitations for filing a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Church. However, some states have begun to extend their statutes of limitations in response to the growing number of church sexual abuse victims who have come forward in recent years. Because of this, more survivors are able to sue the Church once they feel ready to do so. An experienced attorney can help you learn the statute of limitations in your state.
Our compassionate attorneys are dedicated to amplifying survivors’ voices. We can help you understand the filing deadline in your state and how to sue the Church for sexual abuse. Call the church sexual abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 for a free and confidential discussion of your case.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against the Church?
In recent years, the vast extent of abuse allowed by the Church has become known. Over time, more survivors have come forward about the abuse they experienced, often in their youth, that the Church itself enabled. This is true for survivors all across the country. However, from state to state, the right to sue an offender long after the abuse occurred is not always guaranteed.
Statutes of limitations can vary from state to state. Of course, all survivors can likely file a lawsuit against the Church at some point after abuse. The truth is, however, that it can take years for victims to accept abuse. Sexual abuse, especially when perpetrated by a trusted figure like a priest, can be traumatic. Physical, mental, and emotional trauma can prevent survivors from coming forward within the statute of limitations.
Some states have different statutes of limitations for minor and adult survivors, too. Generally, survivors of childhood sexual abuse are given more time to sue the Church. However, not all states abide by this idea. That means some states have a very short filing deadline for all victims, including survivors who were minors at the time of the abuse.
There’s another thing that is important for survivors to know in terms of filing deadlines. If your abuse was enabled by the Church in another state from where you currently live, you must file a lawsuit in that state. That can be tricky to understand, so you can ask a skilled lawyer, like the sexual abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, if you need further clarification. Think of it like this: if you lived in State A when you were abused and have since moved to State B, you must file your lawsuit in State A. That means that you have to file within the State A’s deadline and not State B’s deadline, where you live now.
It’s important for sexual abuse survivors to know the statute of limitations in their state. If you’re unsure, reach out to an experienced lawyer, like the compassionate church sexual abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin. You can learn about the statute of limitations in your state and your options as a survivor of church sexual abuse.
Can My State’s Statute of Limitations for a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against the Church Change?
Yes, each state may have a different statute of limitations for church sexual assault cases. It is also true that individual states can amend their existing statute of limitations throughout the years. That means that a state that once had a filing deadline of five years might now have one of twenty years. Because of this, survivors may be unsure whether or not they can still sue their abuser and, by extension, the Church.
The statute of limitations for suing the Church for sexual abuse can be altered in any state, almost at any time. In recent years, as survivors of church sexual abuse have come forward in alarming numbers, there has been a push to extend the statute of limitations across the country. Because of this, some states have listened to survivors and extended the filing deadline. The statute of limitations to file a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Church in your state may have changed since the last time you checked.
Recently, states have been changing statute of limitations laws, especially regarding childhood sexual abuse victims. You can contact a knowledgeable attorney, like the church sexual abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, to ask whether or not the laws in your state have recently changed. Some states have enacted look-back windows that allow victims to sue a perpetrator, regardless of when the abuse happened. Other states have simply extended the filing deadline for survivors. Unfortunately, if you have missed the statute of limitations and your state hasn’t altered the filing deadline, you can lose your right to sue the Church for sexual abuse.
It could be that your current state of residence has a much longer statute of limitations than your previous state of residence. Unfortunately for some survivors, that could mean that they cannot sue the Church for sexual abuse.
What Happens if I Missed the Statute of Limitations for a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against the Church?
If you think you’ve missed the statute of limitations to file a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Church, always double-check. Remember, states often change their laws regarding the filing deadline for sexual abuse victims. If you’re unsure, ask a lawyer. You might be able to sue the Church for sexual abuse, even if you think the filing deadline has passed.
Remember, some states have created lookback windows that allow survivors whose statute of limitations has lapsed to sue an offender. It could be that your state has a lookback window open right now. Even if you think that the filing deadline has passed for you, you might have another opportunity to file a lawsuit against the Church. Survivors can ask a lawyer, like the church sexual abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, for more information on lookback windows in their state.
As statutes of limitations extend and change, survivors of church sexual abuse can seek justice. Suppose you need help navigating the changing filing deadlines in your state or others. In that case, a compassionate lawyer, like the church sexual abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, can help.
Call Our Church Sexual Abuse Attorneys Today
It’s essential for survivors of church sexual abuse to know the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit in their state. For a free and confidential discussion with the church sexual abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, call (814) 826-3586 today.