OAKLAND CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ATTORNEY
MICHAEL REHM - (510) 418-0820
Providing representation to victims of School/Teacher/Counselor/Coach sexual assault, Clergy/Pastor/Priest childhood sexual abuse, Boy Scouts sexual abuse, and other institutional abuse matters in Alameda County CA.
Child sexual abuse is a topic that is incredibly difficult to talk about. Many people who experienced this find it so difficult to discuss and deal with that they never report it or pursue charges or civil claims. It can be defeating when many years later, a survivor realizes that they wish to pursue justice through a civil claim, only to find out that it's no longer possible because of the statute of limitations. For many survivors, this deadline has been revived, allowing civil charges to be pursued. If you are wondering if you are eligible to file a claim given the new deadline, it's important to speak with a professional. For a free and confidential consultation, contact The Law Office of Michael Rehm today at (510) 418-0820.
Extended Window to File a Lawsuit
In 2019, the state of California passed the California Child Victims Act (The Act), giving many sexual abuse survivors another chance at seeking justice. The Act provided (among other things) a 3-year lookback window, which revived thousands of potential cases that were previously barred due to the statute of limitations. Under The Act, survivors can file a civil lawsuit regardless of how old they are now, how old they were when the abuse occurred, and when the abuse occurred. This means that even if the abuse occurred as far back as the 1950s, a claim could be filed within this 3-year window. This lookback window ends January 1, 2023, so there is still time for survivors to take action if they wish.
Additionally, The Act extends the statute of limitations in another way for many survivors. Before the Act was implemented, survivors had to initiate a civil claim within 8 years of turning 18, so by the time they turned 26 years old, or within 3 years of the date in which they discovered or should have reasonably discovered that any psychological injury or illness that occurred after the they turned 18 was caused by the sexual abuse.
The Act changed this significantly, allowing civil claims to be filed up until the victim turns 40 years old, extending the deadline from 8 years after the age of 18 to 22 years after the victim turns 18. It also expanded the deadline for injuries that are discovered (or should have been discovered) after a victim turns 18 to 5 years. This means that even when the 3-year window ends, many survivors will still have the ability to pursue a civil claim.
This opens up the possibility of lawsuits against individuals but also against organizations, such as schools, religious institutions, and other organizations. In many cases, an individual will be able to file a lawsuit against the individual abuser, as well as the organization that employed them.
Sexual Abuse Cases California
The Act gave rise to a significant number of lawsuits against priests and Dioceses. Once the 3-year lookback period was enacted, it was estimated that at least 600 lawsuits would be filed against priests in Northern California alone.
For example, in 2021, multiple lawsuits were filed against the Diocese of San Diego for incidents that allegedly occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. These lawsuits would not have been possible before The Act was implemented in 2019.
Contact The Law Office of Michael Rehm
Child sexual abuse is a difficult topic to process. If you or a loved one wishes to discuss it and possibly initiate a civil claim, it's important that the professional you speak with truly understands the delicate nature of the situation. Oakland School Sexual Abuse Attorney Michael Rehm handles all cases with compassion, patience, and understanding. If you have any questions about a child sexual abuse lawsuit, please don't hesitate to reach out. For a free and confidential consultations, contact us today at (510) 418-0820.