senate Bill S6367

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

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 21 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES

Summary

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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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1771A
Versions:
S6367
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §30.10, CP L; amd §208, add §3012-c, CPLR L

Sponsor Memo

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.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  6367

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            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-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05811-04-4

S. 6367                             2

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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