SB131 – the bill that would open up the statute of limitations to victims of childhood sexual abuse who missed their opportunities to take legal action – has been passed by both the California State Legislature and the Senate and is now awaiting final approval from California Governor Jerry Brown. According to lawmakers, the bill would effectively correct a former Supreme Court case in which a group of child sex-abuse victims were denied their right to sue religious organizations, nonprofit groups, and private-sector groups that employed abusers. Because the previous Supreme Court decision was based upon the conditions set forth in the statute of limitations, SB131intends to lift the statute, thus allowing previously denied groups to take legal action.
If the proposed law is signed into action, child sex-abuse victims who were over the age of 26 in 2003 will be given the chance to file lawsuits against employers in the private sector – not the public sector – that had reason to know of their employees’ propensity to abuse children. The intent of SB131 is to allow people to sue institutions that allowed child sex abuse to happen and covered it up for decades. The bill essentially targets:
SB131 would open the statute of limitations for only 1 year, which would officially begin January 1, 2014 and remain open through December 31, 2014. SB131 is similar to the 2002 bill that was proposed by Democratic Senator Jim Beal of San Jose, who has publicly voiced his support of the proposed bill. The senator is not alone, either; the landslide vote in the State Legislature (42-14) portrays the overwhelming number of individuals who are in favor of SB131.
Given the complicated nature of the bill and what it has proposed, any victims of childhood sexual abuse in the private sector who wish to take legal action under SB131 should not do so without professional representation. Unfortunately, not all sexual abuse victims will qualify, which is why we are encouraging individuals to first speak with a California child sex abuse attorney from The Senators Firm. When you meet with an experienced lawyer at our firm, the details of your case can be thoroughly reviewed to determine whether or not you qualify to take legal action under SB131. We are committed to helping you pursue justice and we are dedicated to acting as the powerful team that you need to be successful in your case.
Governor Jerry Brown has until around October 10, 2013 (just less than a month) to sign the bill. If you have questions about SB131 or you would like to take legal action for a child sexual abuse incident, do not hesitate to contact The Senators Firm at (949) 557-5800. Our lines are open 24/7.