On Monday, May 13, 2019, Governor Phil Murphy added his much-anticipated signature to a measure that significantly expands the rights of sexual abuse and sexual assault victims in New Jersey.
With Murphy’s signature, S477 / A3648 is now law in the state of New Jersey. Hailed as the broadest bill of its type in the nation, the new law will afford abuse and assault survivors with several expanded rights, including:
- An extended statute of limitations for most abuse claims: 7 years (from the previous time limit of 2 years);
- An extended statute of limitations for survivors who were abused as minors: until the age of 55, or within 7 years after victims link trauma to their damages, whichever is later; and
- A 2-year “window” for all abuse victims, no matter their age, to file sex abuse claims against alleged abusers and / or responsible entities, including non-profits and religious institutions.
The new law is a tremendous victory for abuse survivors and their families, who will now have more time to file civil sexual abuse claims against the individuals at fault, and / or the entities which failed to protect them from abuse. That’s an important victory in light of recent news surrounding the scope of sexual abuse and cover-ups within the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, and other organizations and powerful institutions heavily scrutinized in the #MeToo era.
Proven Sexual Assault & Abuse Lawyers Serving New Jersey
Levinson Axelrod, P.A. has been closely tracking the legislation’s progress to gauge the implications of the new law, and the rights of survivors and families who will now be afforded more time to file suit. That includes adult victims abused as minors who would have been barred by the previous statute of limitations – but who now have a 2-year window in which to file their claims.
Though victims of sexual assault and abuse have the right to file civil lawsuits which seek justice, accountability, and compensation for their damages, and have more time to do so under the new law, they must still face the difficulties of stepping forward and navigating the legal process. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping them overcome these challenges.
Our firm leverages experience and resources to help survivors with potential claims against a range of individual and institutional defendants, including:
- Catholic Church Clergy / New Jersey Diocese
- Synagogues and Other Religious Institutions
- Youth Organizations, Including The Boy Scouts of America
- Public and Private Schools / Day Care and Preschools
- Nursing Homes and Health Care Providers
Learn more about our Sexual Abuse / Assault practice.
Marking Victims’ Voices Heard. Call (732) 440-3089
Our legal team has extensive experience handling sex abuse and assault cases, and is committed to helping victims protect their rights and confidentiality when they courageously choose to make their voices heard. While these claims seek accountability and justice, we know they’re also powerful tools for protecting others from similar acts of abuse, and the failures of entities with the authority and legal responsibility to prevent it.
If you or someone you love have questions about the new law, your legal rights, and whether you may have a potential claim, our award-winning attorneys are available to help. Levinson Axelrod, P.A. proudly serves clients throughout the state of New Jersey from multiple office locations, and offers FREE and confidential consultations.
Call (732) 440-3089 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer.