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The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses$
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James T. O'Reilly and Margaret S.P. Chalmers

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937936.001.0001

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Delays and Limitations in Clergy Abuse Cases

Delays and Limitations in Clergy Abuse Cases

Chapter:
(p.61) Chapter 5 Delays and Limitations in Clergy Abuse Cases
Source:
The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses
Author(s):

James T. O’Reilly

Margaret S. P. Chalmers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937936.003.0005

Many abuse cases became public years after the sex act, so law limiting “stale” suits often barred recovery. Lobbying for reopening cases worked in some states, despite the churches‘ efforts to block reopener laws. Proving an older case with facts even after reopener laws has been difficult. The chapter discusses when the action accrues for purposes of the limitation period, which may be when the potential accuser has notice that he or she has suffered from clergy sexual abuse. However, state statutes may calculate limitations in different ways to account for the fact that child victims may not feel comfortable in coming forward until they become adults.

Keywords:   limitation period, accrual, notice, lobbying, reopener

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