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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 193295 Find in a Library
Title: Appendix A: State By State Analysis of Reported Decisions and Statutes of Limitations Governing Childhood Sexual Abuse Actions (From Sexual Abuse Litigation: A Practical Resource for Attorneys, Clinicians, and Advocates, P 193-287, 2000, Rebecca Rix, ed. -- See NCJ-193287)
Author(s): Mary R. Williams
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 94
Sponsoring Agency: Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
Sale Source: Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press
10 Alice Street
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This appendix summarizes each U.S. State's statute of limitations and related court decisions pertinent to the timing and conditions for initiating personal-injury lawsuits that involve claims of childhood sexual abuse.
Abstract: For each State, the analysis indicates whether the State has a specific statute that takes into account the possibility of repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse that do not emerge into the consciousness of the victim until many years after the offense. Such statutes make it possible for a victim who has experienced repressed memories of abuse to collect damages after the litigation time-limitations set in most State statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. After outlining the relevant statutes for each State, the appendix summarizes court decisions that have interpreted these statutes in cases of child sexual abuse. The analysis shows that 31 States have enacted special statutes of limitations applicable to actions based on child sexual abuse. Twenty-six of these statutes provide that the limitation period does not begin to run until the plaintiff has in some manner "discovered" the injury or the causal connection between the injury and the earlier abuse; 5 of the 31 States simply provide an extended number of years beyond the date of plaintiff's majority in which to begin legal action. Twenty States, including the District of Columbia, have as yet no special statute of limitations for child sexual abuse actions. In seven of these States, the courts have held discovery accrual applicable in certain cases. Nine of these States have refused to apply any exception to the running of the personal injury statute of limitations in child sexual abuse actions; 2 States have as yet no case law on the issue.
Main Term(s): Victims rights
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Psychological victimization effects; Rape trauma syndrome; Sexual assault trauma; State courts; State laws; State-by-state analyses; Statute of limitations
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