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Governor extends look back window for Child Victims Act

Posted 3 August 2020 at 10:10 am

Claims can now be filed until August 14, 2021

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S7082/A9036) extending the look back window for victims to file claims under the Child Victims Act, regardless of when or how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.

Since going into effect last year, the Child Victims Act has provided an avenue for justice for thousands of survivors. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, on May 8, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order extending the window until January 14, 2021. The legislation signed today extends the special filing period by a full year and claims can now be filed under the Child Victims Act until August 14, 2021.

“The Child Victims Act brought a long-needed pathway to justice for people who were abused, and helps right wrongs that went unacknowledged and unpunished for far too long and we cannot let this pandemic limit the ability for survivors to have their day in court,” Governor Cuomo said. “As New York continues to reopen and recover from a public health crisis, extending the look back window is the right thing to do and will help ensure that abusers and those who enabled them are held accountable.”

Last year, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act to ensure survivors of childhood sexual abuse have a path to justice, including the ability to file a case which had already been time-barred or expired for a one-year period. That window to file an expired or time-barred case was set to close August 14, 2020, but had been extended until January by Executive Order on May 8.

The Child Victims Act:

  • Increases the amount of time during which perpetrators of these crimes may be held criminally accountable;
  • Allows victims of these crimes to commence a civil lawsuit at any time before they reach 55 years of age;
  • Provides survivors seeking to file actions against public and private institutions for previously time-barred claims a new opportunity for their day in court by opening a one-year window, now extended to two years, for them to commence their civil action;
  • Eliminates the need to file a notice of claim for sexual offenses committed against a minor;
  • Requires judicial training with respect to crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors;
  • Authorizes the Office of Court Administration to promulgate rules and regulations for the timely adjudication of revived actions.

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