Beginning on March 1, 2023, the statute of limitations for allegations under New York City’s Victims of Gender-Motivated Protection Law (“VGMVPL”) will be extended for two years to afford alleged victims of gender motivated violence a two-year lookback window to bring a civil action for claims that have been previously time barred. Individuals will have from March 1, 2023 to March 1, 2025 to commence a civil suit against such alleged wrongdoers and institutions where they may seek compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, attorney’s fees and costs, and such other relief as a court may deem appropriate under VGMVPL for participation in such crimes.
Recent legislation signed into law by President Biden on September 16, 2022 abolishes the statute of limitations for over a dozen federal civil causes of action relating to child sex abuse, continuing the trend throughout the country to reform statutes of limitations relating to child sex abuse. Known as the “Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act of 2022” (Public Law No. 117-176), the Act abolishes the previous ten-year statute of limitations to commence a civil action for any person who, as a minor, was the victim of any of the offenses enumerated in the Act, including forced labor, sex trafficking of children, sexual abuse of a minor, sexual exploitation of children, and transportation of minors to engage in sexual conduct. The Act became effective on September 16, 2022.
Recent New York legislation will afford a class of sexual abuse victims the opportunity to sue their abusers, where they previously would have been time-barred. On May 24, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law the Adult Survivors Act (“ASA”) (S.66A/A.648A), which creates a one-year lookback window for alleged survivors of sexual assault that occurred when they were over the age of 18 to sue their alleged abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred. The one-year window will begin six months from signing – on November 24, 2022 and will close on November 23, 2023. In 2019, New York extended the statute of limitations to 20 years for adults filing civil lawsuits for certain enumerated sex offenses. However, that legislation only affected new cases and was not retroactive. In contrast, the ASA permits individuals who were over the age of 18 when any alleged abuse occurred to sue for civil damages regardless of the statute of limitations.
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