State government in New York is currently wrangling over a Bill that includes a provision that the Florida Legislature should seriously consider including in the Florida Child Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations law.

The Bill (called the Child Victims Act) would extend the Statute of Limitations for criminal charges arising from child sexual abuse, and essentially eliminate the Statute of Limitations for civil cases.  These provisions are very similar to the laws we currently have on the books here in Florida.

However, the proposed New York law also has a grandfathering provision that would allow a one-year window for abuse victims who had previously been time-barred from coming forward to bring civil claims.

 Florida Can Do Better

This grandfathering provision is not something we have here in Florida, but it is a great idea.  After all, why should perpetrators of some of the most heinous and disgusting abuse imaginable be protected by an arbitrary period of time?

We regularly receive calls from people who were abused as children.  Very frequently, their lives have been permanently wrecked and ravaged by the physical and emotional abuse they suffered as children.  It breaks our hearts (and their’s) when we have to tell them that there is absolutely nothing we can do for them under Florida law.

The New York Bill has not become law yet, however.  The Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America are lobbying hard in the New York State Senate against the Bill.  It seems that these organizations may be more concerned with protecting themselves than seeing that the child that they served (or failed to serve) receive any measure of justice.  This is such a shame.

If you have any questions regarding a potential Florida child sex abuse claim, or have questions regarding the Florida Child Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations, call Winter Park Attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-644-4444.

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