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The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses$
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James T. O'Reilly and Margaret S.P. Chalmers

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937936.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 April 2021

Delays and Limitations in Clergy Abuse Cases

Delays and Limitations in Clergy Abuse Cases

(p.61) Chapter 5 Delays and Limitations in Clergy Abuse Cases
The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses

James T. O’Reilly

Margaret S. P. Chalmers

Oxford University Press

Many abuse cases became public years after the sex act, so law limiting “stale” suits often barred recovery. Lobbying for reopening cases worked in some states, despite the churches‘ efforts to block reopener laws. Proving an older case with facts even after reopener laws has been difficult. The chapter discusses when the action accrues for purposes of the limitation period, which may be when the potential accuser has notice that he or she has suffered from clergy sexual abuse. However, state statutes may calculate limitations in different ways to account for the fact that child victims may not feel comfortable in coming forward until they become adults.

Keywords:   limitation period, accrual, notice, lobbying, reopener

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