Even in these Uncertain Times We Are Continuing the Fight for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
As our communities have been asked to dramatically alter the way we go about our lives to curtail the spread of COVID-19, we at Jeff Anderson & Associates want you to know that we remain fully engaged in this journey with you.
We know these are unsettling and uncertain times, but you are not alone. Our attorneys, legal professionals and advocates are still here for you every step of the way. Our commitment to survivors and their well-being is unwavering and we remain as steadfast in this work as we have ever been.
In conjunction with directions from the CDC, federal, state, and local authorities, we are taking all of the necessary steps to stay safe and to protect our health, while still operating at full capacity. We believe that every challenge presents an opportunity and today provides us all an opportunity to renew our commitment to compassion, justice, and healing.
We also have a few important reminders for survivors:
Several states have enacted legislation that temporarily removes statutes of limitations for child sex abuse cases. These new laws are time sensitive and the “windows” they create have closing dates that are still fast approaching:
- Hawaii: window closes April 24, 2020
- New York: window closes August 13, 2020
- Arizona: window closes December 31, 2020
- New Jersey: window closes December 1, 2021
- California: December 31, 2022
Additionally, several non-profits and religious organizations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This move by groups like the Boy Scouts of America and several Catholic dioceses are attempts to shield them from liability and disclosure.
It is important for survivors to know that this does not prevent them from making a claim and holding their abusers accountable. However, the bankruptcy court will determine a “bar date” for each filing. Once the bar date is passed, courts may cut off all rights. We will publish these dates as they become available.
Below is a transcription of Jeff Anderson’s personal video message to you. If you have any questions about what we can do for you today or how any of these laws and dates apply to you, do not hesitate to reach out. We will get through this together.
With our warmest regards,
The Jeff Anderson & Associates Team
I want every survivor and every family member of every survivor—with whom we are working, and with whom we have worked, and with whom we will be working in this shared journey—to know: We care. And just because things seem to be coming to a halt in so many ways doesn’t mean that these cases and the work that we’re doing together in any way is coming to a halt or slowing in any way. We are moving forward with rigor, and we want survivors to know: We’re on it. A number of states have passed laws that give survivors a chance to come forward and take legal action. In some states, such as Hawaii, it’s a matter of weeks. For others it’s a matter of months. Arizona, New York, New Jersey, California — all have time limits and in each state the clock is ticking. It’s also important for survivors to know that a number of religious organizations and non-profits — from the Boy Scouts, to the diocese of Buffalo, to the diocese of Rochester, to the diocese of Harrisburg — have all recently filed for reorganizations and others will follow, and there are very short time limits in each of those instances. So it’s really important for folks to know that given those short time limits it’s time to make a call. There is no question these are scary times for everybody, but the reality is we are given the chance to work together to help you, and help you help others. And it is time for us to fully engage to make sure we’re doing what we can to help every day in the recovery of your power and the protection of kids in the future. We’re there, we care and we are there with you. [End Transcript]