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May 7th, 2013

Minnesota Child Sex Abuse Law Changes – House Passes Bill to Eliminate Statute of Limitations

Last week, in a 115-7 vote, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to pass a bill which would help victims of child sex abuse obtain justice in the civil courts. HF681 would abolish the civil statute of limitations for many victims of child molestation and sex abuse.

Under the proposed law, victims of sex abuse who were abused by a person who was age of 16 years old or younger would still have to bring their claims within 6 years of the alleged abuse, unless the victim was under the age of 18 and in which case, they would have until their 24th birthday. All other Minnesota citizens who were sexually abused as children would be able to bring civil cases at any time, so long as the abuse occurred after the law’s enactment. The law would not be retroactive. Click here to read an analysis of Minnesota’s proposed changes to the child sex abuse statute of limitations.

Minnesota Considers Statute of Limitations Window for Child Sex Abuse Victims

However, like other states such as Hawaii and Delaware, the new Minnesota law would open a three year window during which any victim of child sex abuse and molestation, whose case was previously time-barred, could bring a suit against the person/party responsible.

Delaware was one of the first states to pass legislation with this statute of limitations window. Read about Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan’s representation of a child sex abuse victim against a sitting state court judge in Delaware.

There are two main reasons special windows like the one passed by Minnesota’s House should be allowed. First, allowing victims of sex abuse whose cases were previously time-barred gives them the opportunity to seek justice, which can eventually help to bring closure.

The second reason is more subtle. We know that sex abusers can and do abuse children well into older ages. Sixty and seventy year old men and women are capable of committing sex abuse against children. Opening this window gives victims who may have been abused years ago the opportunity to seek justice in a public forum. In essence, there is an important deterrent effect – abusers who previously escaped justice can now be held to account and accordingly, subsequent sex abuse of a child may be prevented.

The bill is now being considered in the Minnesota Senate. If you live in Minnesota, contact your local legislators and ask them to support this bill.

Related posts:

Child Sex Abuse Lawyer – Representation by a Former Prosecutor

If you would like more information, contact the law firm of Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan. Our lawyers are licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and handle civil sex abuse cases. Guy D’Andrea is a former prosecutor and offers a free, confidential consultation for all victims of sex abuse. Call 800-220-7600.

Our attorneys may represent sex abuse victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; he County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states such as New York and Delaware on a case by case basis.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.