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May 13th, 2013

Minnesota On Track to Abolish Statute of Limitations in Civil Child Sex Abuse/Molestation Cases

I’ve been following Minnesota’s Child Victims Act which is currently being considered in the Minnesota legislature. Two versions of the Child Victims Act made their way to the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate.

Earlier this month, in an almost unanimous vote, the House of Representatives voted to amend Minnesota’s statute of limitations in civil child sex abuse cases. The House version of the bill would open a 3 year window during which any victim of child sex abuse whose case was previously time-barred could step forward and bring a case against their abusers and any other person or entity responsible for contributing to the abuse or hiding/covering up the abuse. The Senate’s initial version of the bill does not contain the 3 year window.

Despite this key difference, both versions are the same in that they abolish the statute of limitations in all civil child sex abuse cases. However, there is the issue of whether the new law would be retroactive. The House version of the bill is not retroactive. Absent the 3 year window, the House version would only apply to child sexual abuse and sex abuse occurring after the new law goes into effect. The Senate’s version is retroactive and would apply to all actions “pending on or commenced after” the new law goes into effect.

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

The following infographic shows the key differences between the Minnesota House and Senate versions of the Child Victims Act.

Minnesota Child Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations legislative differences

At this point, it is unclear exactly how the Senate’s version of the bill was amended. It appears the Committee on Rules and Administration adopted amendments to the House version. In essence, the House version (with the 3 year window) was amended to mirror the Senate version.

According to the Minnesota legislature’s website, the House version’s enacting clause (subsection 5) was replaced with the Senate version’s enacting clause (subsection 4). This means that the 3 year window did not make it out of the Committee. However, which version was voted through remains unclear at this point. Stay tuned for updates.


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.

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