On February 14, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act into law. The new law, which takes effect immediately, lengthens statute of limitations for certain sexual offenses committed against minors for criminal and civil cases.
For civil cases, victims now have until age fifty-five (55) to commence a lawsuit against the perpetrator for physical, psychological or other injuries. Most notably, for any unfiled claims which would otherwise be untimely under the applicable statute of limitations, the Child Victims Act affords victims a one year window within which they can file a lawsuit for physical, psychological or other injuries. The Child Victims Act also removes certain notice of claim barriers to filing lawsuits against entities such as municipalities. If a previously-existing claim is not filed within this one-year window, a victim’s right to commence a lawsuit is likely lost.
The Child Victims Act also expands criminal statutes of limitations by at least five years, as the new law provides that the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim reaches age 23, or when the offense is reported to law enforcement.
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Our lawyers have decades of experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury and sexual abuse cases, and we believe that every victim has the right to have their case pursued vigorously. If you have questions regarding the Child Victims Act, please contact the attorneys at Bartlett, Pontiff, Stewart and Rhodes at (518) 832-6442 or via e-mail at [email protected] for a free consultation.
The offenses include, among others: rape; sexual misconduct, criminal sexual act, forcible touching, sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse, course of sexual conduct against a child, incest, use of a child in a sexual performance, and other sex offenses.