New Jersey Legislators Denounce Diocese of Camden’s Attempt to Shorten Clergy Abuse Claim Window by 8 Months

Statement of Attorney Jeff Anderson

(Camden, NJ) – Today in a public statement, New Jersey legislators denounced the Diocese of Camden’s callous and self-serving Claims Bar Date Motion to only give clergy sexual abuse survivors until February 26, 2021, to file a claim, rather than the November 30, 2021 deadline afforded them under the New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Act:

It is imperative that this filing does not impede access to justice for survivors of sexual assault at the hands of members of the Camden Diocese. The 2019 law which expanded the statute of limitations for sexual assault, and created a two-year window by which survivors of any age could file their suit, is the law of this State. Survivors very clearly have until November 30, 2021, to file their suit without any age restrictions […] No single bankruptcy process should be able to shorten the timeline established by the 2019 law. 

The statement was issued jointly by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Sen. Joe Vitale, Sen. Nick Scutari, Assemb. Annette Quijano, Assemb. Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and Assemb. Mila M. Jasey.

Attorney Jeff Anderson—whose law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates and partner firm, Gianforcaro Law, represent hundreds of survivors of child sexual in New Jersey—provided the following statement in response:

We stand with the legislature. We stand with this law and in support of it because it is designed to protect kids in the future. Because it is designed to unearth the dangerous secrets […] and expose the dangerous practices employed by the Diocese of Camden and the Catholic Bishops in New Jersey who fought so hard against the passage of this law; who have worked so long and hard to keep these secrets, protect offenders, and are complicit in the cover-up of them in so many ways that remain so perilous.

We stand with the survivors. We stand with survivors in the pursuit of their truth and for justice for what was done to them. We stand for accountability and transparency, and against the Diocese of Camden and the Bishop in the Diocese of Camden who seek to cut off those rights and those opportunities [for the] survivors to do what is right, to do what is necessary, and do what needs to be done—to begin the cleanup of the diocese of Camden and the Dioceses across the state of New Jersey.

As of today, no claims bar date has been set for the Diocese of Camden Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.