The present state of New York’s statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases is summed up by the National Conference of State Legislatures as follows: “In New York, there is no extended statute of limitations for sexual abuse; however, if the abuse is treated as an intentional tort, New York's SOL is one year. N.Y. Civil Prac. Law § 215. If the victim brings a claim against a church or school which administered the perpetrator, or any action that is based in negligence, rather than criminal behavior, the SOL is 3 years—N.Y. Civil Prac. Law § 214. New York adopted a special statute of limitations for victims of sexual crimes in 2006—N.Y. Civil Prac. Law §213-c. The statute provides that actions for civil damages for defined sexual crimes, including sexual abuse of a minor, may be brought within 5 years of the acts constituting the sexual offense.”
A proposed law, known as the “Child Sexual Abuse Reform Act,” [A.01042 (Prestlow)] would amend the CPLR by adding a section 213-d which would extend the SOL from 3 to 6 years the time in which to bring an action where the plaintiff was disabled as a result of infancy/insanity at the time the action accrued. It would also add a revival statute of 2 years as to any action that had been previously barred by the SOL. On January 9, 2013, it was referred to the Codes Committee. It is a one-house bill, with no comparable Senate bill. Another bill, A.04008 (Gabyszak), with multi-sponsors, proposes the addition of section 214-f to the CPLR, which would extend the SOL to 15 years of the act, beginning after the present tolling period for infancy or after the reporting of the incident, whichever is earlier. This bill has been introduced in legislative sessions from 2003 through 2009. It was introduced on January 30, 2013, and referred to Codes.
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