Look-back window for child victims extended

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation extending the look-back window for victims of childhood abuse to file claims under the Child Victims Act, regardless of when or how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.

Due to the COVID-19 public-health emergency, on May 8, Cuomo issued an executive order extending the window until Jan. 14, 2021. Now, claims can be filed under the Child Victims Act until Aug. 14, 2021.

The Child Victims Act:

— Increases the amount of time during which perpetrators of these crimes may be held criminally accountable;

— Allows victims of these crimes to commence a civil lawsuit at any time before they reach 55 years of age;

— Provides survivors seeking to file actions against public and private institutions for previously time-barred claims a new opportunity for their day in court by opening a one-year window, now extended to two years, for them to commence their civil action;

— Eliminates the need to file a notice of claim for sexual offenses committed against a minor;

— Requires judicial training with respect to crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors; and

— Authorizes the Office of Court Administration to promulgate rules and regulations for the timely adjudication of revived actions.

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