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New York’s Adult Survivors Act and Child Victims Act: Understanding the Statute of Limitations

Introduction to the Statute of Limitations

The ‘statute of limitations’ is a legal term that refers to the maximum period of time during which legal proceedings can be initiated. Once this period has passed, claims or rights pertaining to the case can no longer be brought. This concept is a fundamental aspect of the legal system, with far-reaching implications for both plaintiffs and defendants.

It is designed to ensure fairness in legal proceedings by preventing the initiation of lawsuits after an extended period of time. This is based on the premise that over time, evidence may become unreliable or lost, memories may fade, and it becomes increasingly difficult to present a clear and accurate account of events.

Understanding the Child Victims Act

The Child Victims Act, enacted in New York, is a landmark piece of legislation that has significantly transformed the landscape of child sexual abuse cases. It has provided a beacon of hope for survivors, allowing them to seek justice even years after the abuse. The Act has several key provisions, each designed to provide greater support and legal recourse for survivors.

One of the most significant aspects of the Act is the ‘lookback window’. This was a specific period during which survivors of any age could file a lawsuit against their abusers, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred. This provision was a game-changer, as it provided survivors with an opportunity to seek justice that they may have previously been denied due to the statute of limitations.

The Lookback Window: A Detailed Explanation

The lookback window was initially set to last until August 14, 2020. This meant that for a specific period, the statute of limitations was suspended, allowing survivors to file lawsuits irrespective of when the abuse took place. This was a significant development, as it recognized the fact that many survivors of child sexual abuse do not come forward until years, or even decades, after the abuse.

The lookback window acknowledged the unique challenges faced by survivors of child sexual abuse, including the difficulty of coming forward, the often long-lasting psychological impact of the abuse, and the power dynamics that often exist in these cases.

Extension of the Child Victims Act by Governor Cuomo

Recognizing the importance of the lookback window and the need to provide survivors with additional time to come forward, Governor Cuomo extended the lookback window to August 14, 2021. This extension was a significant development, as it provided survivors with an additional year to file lawsuits against their abusers.

This extension was widely welcomed by advocates for survivors of child sexual abuse. It acknowledged the courage it takes for survivors to come forward and recognized that many survivors need time to process their experiences and make the decision to pursue legal action.

. Unfortunately, many including the attorneys at Alonso Krangle LP, do not feel that the 2 year window was enough time for some survivors of abuse to come forward, barring them from bringing any future claims unless another law is enacted allowing more time.

Age Limit for Child Victims

Another key provision of the Child Victims Act was the increase in the age limit for bringing claims. Under the Act, child victims haveuntil they reach the age of 55 to bring their claim. This is a significant increase from the previous cutoff age of 23.

This provision recognizes the now accepted fact that many survivors of child sexual abuse do not come forward until later in life. By increasing the age limit, the Act provides survivors with a much larger window to seek justice, acknowledging the long-lasting impact of child sexual abuse and the time it often takes for survivors to come forward.

Understanding the Adult Survivors Act

The Adult Survivors Act, similar to the Child Victims Act, is a crucial piece of legislation that addresses sexual assault and abuse that occurred during adulthood. It was signed into law on May 22, 2022, marking a significant step forward in providing legal recourse for survivors of adult sexual abuse.

The Act has several key provisions, each designed to provide greater support and legal recourse for survivors. Like the Child Victims Act, it includes a lookback window, providing survivors with an opportunity to file lawsuits against their abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred.

The One-Year Lookback for Survivors

The Adult Survivors Act provides a one-year lookback window for survivors of assault or abuse that occurred when they were adults. This means that survivors can bring claims through November 24, 2023, regardless of when the abuse took place. This provision is a significant development, as it provides survivors with an opportunity to seek justice that they may have previously been denied due to the statute of limitations.

The lookback window is a critical component of the Adult Survivors Act. It acknowledges the unique challenges faced by survivors of adult sexual abuse, including the difficulty of coming forward, the often long-lasting psychological impact of the abuse, and the power dynamics that often exist in these cases.

Normal Statutes of Limitations Post November 2023

After November 24, 2023, assaults against adults will be subject to the normal statutes of limitations. This means that survivors will have a specific period of time to bring their claims, beyond which they will not be able to seek legal recourse. This provision is in line with the general principles of the statute of limitations.

This underscores the importance of seeking legal advice and taking action as soon as possible.

Comparing the Child Victims Act and Adult Survivors Act

While both the Child Victims Act and the Adult Survivors Act serve to protect survivors of abuse and provide them with a platform to seek justice, they differ in several key ways. These differences are important to understand, as they impact the legal rights and options available to survivors.

Both Acts provide a lookback window, allowing survivors to bring claims regardless of when the abuse occurred. However, the Child Victims Act applies to abuse that occurred during childhood, while the Adult Survivors Act applies to abuse that occurred during adulthood. Additionally, the duration of the lookback window and the age limit for bringing claims differ between the two Acts.

Impact on Survivors

The enactment of the Child Victims Act and the Adult Survivors Act has had a profound impact on survivors of sexual abuse. By providing a lookback window and increasing the age limit for bringing claims, these Acts have provided survivors with an opportunity to seek justice, often years after the abuse.

These Acts have not only helped survivors in their healing process but have also served to bring abusers to justice. They have sent a clear message that sexual abuse will not be tolerated and that survivors will be supported in their pursuit of justice.

Contact Alonso Krangle LLP if You or a Loved One Has Been a Victim of Abuse

Understanding the Child Victims Act and the Adult Survivors Act is crucial for anyone seeking to navigate the legal landscape of sexual abuse cases in New York. These Acts have transformed the way in which such cases are handled, providing survivors with a much-needed platform to seek justice.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of abuse, reach out to our attorneys today at (800) 403-6191 to understand your rights and options. These Acts have been enacted to support survivors and provide them with the legal recourse they deserve, but the window of opportunity to bring a claim is limited. Call us today or complete the form on this page for a free consultation.

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Strongly Recommend Alonso Krangle As a Highly Experienced And Respected Firm

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Although in New York, Alonso Krangle could not have been more responsive or accommodating if they were located here in Virginia. I cannot recall a single time when my wife or I called their office and did not speak to either Andres Alonso or David Krangle. They were always completely available and ready to answer any and all of our questions. Their advice and recommendations were always honest, sincere, and accurate enabling us to plan accordingly. Legal proceedings can be a long process, but we never felt left out or forgotten thanks to timely updates initiated by Alonso Krangle. In the end, everything turned out as Alonso Krangle estimated from the beginning. I could not have expected better personal attention or concern from a family member handling my case. As with my friend, I too, would not hesitate to strongly recommend Alonso Krangle as a highly experienced and respected firm that will treat you like family.

LM and MM
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SM
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D G
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R
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I. D.
Thank you for your years of service

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VL
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DR
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AN
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F. M.
I want to thank you for all your hard work and efforts in resolving our case
I want to thank you for all your hard work and efforts in resolving our case. I also want to thank you for personally responding to my calls… I realize that you have people that could have taken care of that for you…. But it meant a lot to me!!
S.L.
Like To Express My Appreciation To You And Your Firm
I just would like to express my appreciation to you and your firm for assisting me with this matter. I am now a single mother of six children and I have been going through so much financial strife. I did not know how I would get school supplies for my children so I have been working two jobs to try to gain some extra funds. This is a blessing to me and my children. Thank you again for all you guys have done for us.
MC
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VL
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JD
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K M
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JB
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ER
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I have been involved in lengthy litigation against a giant pharmaceutical company over the past several years. Alonso Krangle has been with me every step of the way, and has kept me up with the progress of my case. As their slogan says, they “Fight For Victims”. Great job guys, thanks.
V. L.
Mil gracias y que Dios lo bendiga
Buenas tardes Abogado para mi y mi familia fue un placer haber con sus eficientes servicios como nuestro abogado mil gracias y que Dios lo bendiga y lo siga acompañado en todos los casos que se le presenten y salga victorioso gracias 🙏
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(Original) Excellent y rápido 100% recomendado a my en cuestión de 7 meses me salió mi demanda son muy buenos me trataron muy bien todos muchas gracias.

RMS
Thank You From The Bottom Of My Heart For All Your Help

Andres,

I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help. Tonight is the first night since January that I can finally breath a sigh of relief. Your determination and dedication to my case was by far beyond what I could ever imagined.

W W
Express Our Thank You To You For The Wonderful Job You Did With Our Daughter’s Case

Dear Andres,

We wanted to express our thank you to you for the wonderful job you did with our daughter’s case. You are a true professional and we are thankful that you are the one who helped us all through this. We couldn’t have asked for anyone better to have on our daughter’s side.

Respectfully,

Parent A B
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F V
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Mr. S
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Mark W
The world needs more people like yourself

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All my best to you,

C
Highly recommend
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David – NF

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