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May 11th, 2013

Minnesota Senate Passes Child Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations Law – Child Victims Act

*For immediate release, May 11, 2013 11:50 a.m.

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Senate voted unanimously to pass SF534. Earlier this month, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a companion bill, HF681.

Known as the Child Victims Act, the new law would erase Minnesota’s statute of limitations for all civil cases of child molestation and child sex abuse. Minnesota’s governor is expected to sign the bill, officially making Minnesota one of the few states in the country to abolish the civil statute of limitations for survivors of child sex abuse.

The new law would not be retroactive and would only apply to child sex abuse cases filed after the law is passed. For cases which are too old or already time-barred, the House version of the bill would open a 3 year window. The version which was initially presented in the Senate would not open the 3 year window. Click here to read the House version of the Minnesota Child Victims Act.

Here is the Senate’s initial version of the Minnesota Child Victims Act:

Subdivision 1. Definition. As used in this section,:
(1) “sexual abuse” means conduct described in sections 609.342 to 609.345 609.3451; and
(2) “person” includes a natural person, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, organization, association, or other entity.

Subdivision 2. Limitations period.

(a) An action for damages based on personal injury caused by sexual abuse: (1) must be commenced within six years of the time the plaintiff knew or had reason to know that the injury was caused by the sexual abuse alleged sexual abuse in the case of alleged sexual abuse of an individual 18 years or older; (2) may be commenced at any time in the case of alleged sexual abuse of an individual under the age of 18.

(b) The plaintiff need not establish which act in a continuous series of sexual abuse acts by the defendant caused the injury. (c) The knowledge of a parent or guardian may not be imputed to a minor.

(c) This section does not affect the suspension of the statute of limitations during a period of disability under section 541.15.

Subdivision 3. Applicability. This section applies to an action for damages commenced against a person who caused the plaintiff’s personal injury either by (1) committing sexual abuse against the plaintiff, or (2) negligently permitting sexual abuse against the plaintiff to occur negligence.

[omitted from the Senate version] Subdivision 4. Vicarious liability or respondeat superior claims. A claim based on vicarious liability or liability under the doctrine of respondeat superior shall be commenced within six years of the alleged sexual abuse except when the plaintiff was under 18 at the time of the alleged abuse and then no later than the plaintiff’s 24th birthday. This subdivision does not limit the availability of these claims under other law.

Subdivision 4. Title. This section may be cited as the “Child Victims Act.”
EFFECTIVE DATE. This act is effective the day following final enactment and applies to actions pending on or commenced on or after that date.

As of Wednesday, May 8, the Minnesota Senate voted to pass the bill. However, it remains unclear exactly what amendments were made before the vote. As of the posting of this article, the Minnesota legislature website does not indicate the version which was passed.

Related Minnesota Child Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations posts:

Child Sex Abuse Lawyer – Representation by a Former Prosecutor

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 and welcome calls from local counsel.

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