2014 in Review: The Ups and Downs of Child Protection

Professor Marci A. Hamilton Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Professor Marci A. Hamilton
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Professor Marci Hamilton (Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law) just posted her annual review. It covers a range of topics including law, policy, legislation, scandals, awareness within different religious groups and more. She also spans the continents. Check it out.

In her review of  Statutes of Limitation (SOL) she writes:

This is a true case of some states moving forward, while a handful like New York are stuck in antiquated laws that only help perpetrators and institutions that cover up for them. New York yet again stayed firmly mired in the five worst states in the country for victims’ access to justice. The Republican senate has failed to act, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ignored the issue.

Unfortunately, lobbying by Agudath Israel of America in collaboration with the Roman Catholic Church is one of the important reasons we have not had SOL reform in New York.

About Hawaii she writes:

David Zweibel of Agudah and Cardinal Dolan

David Zweibel of Agudah and Cardinal Dolan
“Our rabbis are as bad as your priests”

This state led the pack with the first-ever two-year extension of a window (which revives previously expired SOLs for a set period of time), making their window the longest in history: a total of four years. This move proves that a window does not cause a state to sink into the ocean and is so obviously important to the common good (survivors, institutions, and the public alike).

Here is a 2014, 50-state comparison of civil SOLs for child sex abuse victims.



4 thoughts on “2014 in Review: The Ups and Downs of Child Protection

    • A civil suit has a plaintiff who alleges abuse asking for monetary compensation for damages from the perpetrator and the institutions he worked for or were otherwise responsible.

      A criminal charge has a prosecutor charge somone of a crime where the consequences of a plea deal or trial are a conviction which can lead to jail, probation, sex offender registration.

      For example, after oJ beat the murder rap, the family of the victim filed a civil suit and won a judgement.

  1. Correct me if I am wrong, but:

    In a civil suit the plaintiff has to find a law firm willing to take the case and then pay substantial amounts of money ( even on a contingency case, for “costs”) whereas in a criminal case the government foots the bill.
    Of course, the burden of proof is different — in a criminal case the defendent has to be found guilty ” beyond a reasonable doubt” whereas in a civil suit the deciding factor is the preponderance of the evidence (ie it is ” more likely than not” that the defendent broke the law and harmed the plaintiff)

    • Yes, a civil case is usually on contingency. The lawyer won’t usually take it on unless the odds of winning are good enough to justify all the up front expenses and the even larger expenses if it goes to trial. Defendants don’t usually settle if they are convinced they can win at trial. So yes, the attorney believes the case is strong enough to be likely to win at trial.

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