Bill S6367-2013

Eliminates statute of limitations in criminal actions and revives civil actions for certain sex offenses committed against a child less than eighteen years of age

Eliminates statute of limitations in criminal and civil actions and revives civil actions for certain sex offenses committed against a child less than eighteen years of age.

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  • Jan 21, 2014: REFERRED TO CODES

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BILL NUMBER:S6367

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to the timeliness of prosecutions for certain sex offenses; and to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to the timeliness for commencing certain civil actions related to sex offenses

PURPOSE: The bill amends the Criminal Procedure Law and the Civil Practice Law and Rules to eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal and civil actions for certain sex offenses committed against a child less than eighteen years of age.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Paragraph (f) of subdivision 3 of section 30.10 of the criminal procedure law, as separately amended by chapters 3 and 320 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: (f) A prosecution involving a sexual offense as defined in article 130 of the penal law, other than a sexual offense delineated in paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of this section, committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, incest in the first, second or third degree as defined in sections 255.27, 255.26 and 255.25 of the penal law committed against a child less than 18 years of age, or use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in section 263.05 of the penal law may be commenced at any time.

Section 2. The opening paragraph of section 208 of the civil practice law and rules is designated subdivision (a) and a new subdivision (b) is added to read as follows: Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (a) of this section, with respect to all civil claims or causes of action brought by any person for physical, psychological or other injury or condition suffered as a result of conduct which would constitute a sexual offense as defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, incest as defined in section 255.25, 255.26 or 255.27 of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, or the use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in section 263.05 of the penal law, or a predecessor statute that prohibited such conduct at the time of the act, which conduct was committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, such action may be commenced at any time.

Section 3. The civil practice law and rules is amended by adding a new section 3012-c to read as follows: 3012-c. Certain child sexual abuse cases; certificate of merit. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of law which imposes a Period of limitation to the contrary, every civil claim or cause of action brought by a person for physical, psychological, or other injury or condition suffered as a result of conduct which would constitute a sexual offense as defined in article 130 of the penal law-committed against a child less than 15 years of age, incest as defined in section 255.25, 255.26 or 255.27 of the penal law committed against a child less than 18 years of age, or the use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in section 263.05 of the penal law, or a predecessor statute that prohibited such conduct at the time of the act, which conduct was committed against a child less than 18 years of age, which is barred as of the effective date of

this section because the applicable period of limitation has expired is hereby revived, and action thereon may be commenced on or before one year after the effective date of this section.

(b) In any action brought pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section for physical, psychological, or other injury or condition suffered as a result of conduct which would constitute a sexual offense as described in subdivision (a) of this section, the complaint shall be accompanied by a certificate of merit as described in subdivision (c) of this section.

(c) A certificate of merit filed pursuant to subdivision (b) of this section shall be filed by the attorney for the Plaintiff and shall contain a notarized statement by a qualified psychiatrist, as defined in section 9.01 of the mental hygiene law, a psychologist as licensed Pursuant to article 153 of the education law; or a person in the practice of mental health counseling, as defined in subdivision 1 of section eighty-four hundred two of the education law, who is knowledgeable in the relevant facts and issues involved in the particular action, and states in reasonable detail the facts and opinions that the person has relied upon for concluding that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the plaintiff has been subject to one or more acts of child sexual abuse of the type described in subdivision (a) of this section. The person providing such statement may not be a party to the litigation.

(d) Where a certificate is required pursuant to this section, a single certificate shall be filed for each action, even if more than one defendant has been named in the complaint or is subsequently named.

Section 4. Saving Clause.

Section 5. Effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: The Syracuse University, Penn State University, and the Horace Mann school scandals have shown us that now more than ever we need to change how we view the statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse.

Sex crimes, particularly those committed against children, are among the most heinous and deeply disturbing in our society. They are crimes that leave life-long scars, multiple victims and require an all encompassing strategy to combat. Victims of childhood sexual abuse do not come to terms with their abuse until well into adulthood. Under current law they have no recourse. By eliminating the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse cases victims can bring their claims regardless of whether Or not DNA evidence is available.

By eliminating the statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases, victims of these horrific crimes will get their day in court and be able to seek the justice they have been denied.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.3809 of 2013 (Died in Codes)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately, provided that section three of this act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after this act shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6367 IN SENATE January 21, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to the timeli- ness of prosecutions for certain sex offenses; and to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to the timeliness for commencing certain civil actions related to sex offenses THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (f) of subdivision 3 of section 30.10 of the criminal procedure law, as separately amended by chapters 3 and 320 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: (f) [For purposes of a] A prosecution involving a sexual offense as defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law, other than a sexual offense delineated in paragraph (a) of subdivision two of this section, committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, incest in the first, second or third degree as defined in sections 255.27, 255.26 and 255.25 of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, or use of a child in a sexual perform- ance as defined in section 263.05 of the penal law[, the period of limi- tation shall not begin to run until the child has reached the age of eighteen or the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, whichever occurs earlier] MAY BE COMMENCED AT ANY TIME. S 2. The opening paragraph of section 208 of the civil practice law and rules is designated subdivision (a) and a new subdivision (b) is added to read as follows: (B) NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION (A) OF THIS SECTION, WITH RESPECT TO ALL CIVIL CLAIMS OR CAUSES OF ACTION BROUGHT BY ANY PERSON FOR PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL OR OTHER INJURY OR CONDITION SUFFERED AS A RESULT OF CONDUCT WHICH WOULD CONSTITUTE A SEXUAL OFFENSE AS DEFINED IN ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THE PENAL LAW COMMITTED AGAINST A CHILD LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, INCEST AS DEFINED IN SECTION 255.25, 255.26 OR 255.27 OF THE PENAL LAW COMMITTED AGAINST A CHILD LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, OR THE USE OF A CHILD IN A SEXUAL PERFORM-
ANCE AS DEFINED IN SECTION 263.05 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR A PREDECESSOR STATUTE THAT PROHIBITED SUCH CONDUCT AT THE TIME OF THE ACT, WHICH CONDUCT WAS COMMITTED AGAINST A CHILD LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, SUCH ACTION MAY BE COMMENCED AT ANY TIME. S 3. The civil practice law and rules is amended by adding a new section 3012-c to read as follows: S 3012-C. CERTAIN CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE CASES; CERTIFICATE OF MERIT. (A) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW WHICH IMPOSES A PERIOD OF LIMITA- TION TO THE CONTRARY, EVERY CIVIL CLAIM OR CAUSE OF ACTION BROUGHT BY A PERSON FOR PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, OR OTHER INJURY OR CONDITION SUFFERED AS A RESULT OF CONDUCT WHICH WOULD CONSTITUTE A SEXUAL OFFENSE AS DEFINED IN ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THE PENAL LAW COMMITTED AGAINST A CHILD LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, INCEST AS DEFINED IN SECTION 255.25, 255.26 OR 255.27 OF THE PENAL LAW COMMITTED AGAINST A CHILD LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, OR THE USE OF A CHILD IN A SEXUAL PERFORMANCE AS DEFINED IN SECTION 263.05 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR A PREDE- CESSOR STATUTE THAT PROHIBITED SUCH CONDUCT AT THE TIME OF THE ACT, WHICH CONDUCT WAS COMMITTED AGAINST A CHILD LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, WHICH IS BARRED AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION BECAUSE THE APPLICABLE PERIOD OF LIMITATION HAS EXPIRED IS HEREBY REVIVED, AND ACTION THEREON MAY BE COMMENCED ON OR BEFORE ONE YEAR AFTER THE EFFEC- TIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. (B) IN ANY ACTION BROUGHT PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (A) OF THIS SECTION FOR PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, OR OTHER INJURY OR CONDITION SUFFERED AS A RESULT OF CONDUCT WHICH WOULD CONSTITUTE A SEXUAL OFFENSE AS DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION (A) OF THIS SECTION, THE COMPLAINT SHALL BE ACCOMPANIED BY A CERTIFICATE OF MERIT AS DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION (C) OF THIS SECTION. (C) A CERTIFICATE OF MERIT FILED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (B) OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE FILED BY THE ATTORNEY FOR THE PLAINTIFF AND SHALL CONTAIN A NOTARIZED STATEMENT BY A QUALIFIED PSYCHIATRIST, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 9.01 OF THE MENTAL HYGIENE LAW, A PSYCHOLOGIST AS LICENSED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE OF THE EDUCATION LAW, OR A PERSON IN THE PRACTICE OF MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING, AS DEFINED IN SUBDI- VISION ONE OF SECTION EIGHTY-FOUR HUNDRED TWO OF THE EDUCATION LAW, WHO IS KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE RELEVANT FACTS AND ISSUES INVOLVED IN THE PARTICULAR ACTION, AND STATES IN REASONABLE DETAIL THE FACTS AND OPIN- IONS THAT THE PERSON HAS RELIED UPON FOR CONCLUDING THAT THERE IS A REASONABLE BASIS TO BELIEVE THAT THE PLAINTIFF HAS BEEN SUBJECT TO ONE OR MORE ACTS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE OF THE TYPE DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION (A) OF THIS SECTION. THE PERSON PROVIDING SUCH STATEMENT MAY NOT BE A PARTY TO THE LITIGATION. (D) WHERE A CERTIFICATE IS REQUIRED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, A SINGLE CERTIFICATE SHALL BE FILED FOR EACH ACTION, EVEN IF MORE THAN ONE DEFENDANT HAS BEEN NAMED IN THE COMPLAINT OR IS SUBSEQUENTLY NAMED. S 4. The provisions of this act shall be severable, and if any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision or part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdi- vision or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately, provided that section three of this act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after this act shall have become a law.

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