Governor Cuomo extends window for claims to be filed under Child Victims Act

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference in Washington, May 27, 2020. (AP /Jacquelyn Martin)

NEW YORK (WWTI) — Governor Cuomo has signed legislation extending the look back window for victims to file claims under the Child Victims Act, regardless of when or how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Governor Cuomo issued an executive order extending the window until January 14, 2021. The legislation extends the special filing period by a full year and claims can now be filed under the Child Victims Act until August 14, 2021.

“The Child Victims Act brought a long-needed pathway to justice for people who were abused, and helps right wrongs that went unacknowledged and unpunished for far too long and we cannot let this pandemic limit the ability for survivors to have their day in court,” Governor Cuomo said. 

“As New York continues to reopen and recover from a public health crisis, extending the look back window is the right thing to do and will help ensure that abusers and those who enabled them are held accountable.”

Governor Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act last year to ensure survivors of childhood sexual abuse have a path to justice, including the ability to file a case which had already been time-barred or expired for a one-year period.

The Child Victims Act increases the amount of time during which perpetrators may be held criminally accountable. The legislation also allows victims of such crimes to commence a civil lawsuit at any time prior to reaching 55 years of age.

Under the legislation survivors seeking to file actions against public and private institutions for previously time-barred claims are provided a new opportunity for their day in court by extending the window to commence their civil action.

The need to file a notice of claim for sexual offenses committed against a minor has been eliminated. The legislation requires judicial training with respect to crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors.

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