Child Victims Act extended in New York through August 2021

On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an extension of the look back window for victims to file claims under the Child Victims Act.

Since going into effect last year, the Child Victims Act has provided an avenue for justice for thousands of survivors. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, on May 8th, Gov. Cuomo issued an executive order extending the window until January 14th, 2021.

The legislation extends the special filing period by a full year and claims can now be filed under the Child Victims Act until August 14th, 2021.

“The Child Victims Act brought a long-needed pathway to justice for people who were abused, and helps right wrongs that went unacknowledged and unpunished for far too long and we cannot let this pandemic limit the ability for survivors to have their day in court,” Gov. Cuomo said. “As New York continues to reopen and recover from a public health crisis, extending the look back window is the right thing to do and will help ensure that abusers and those who enabled them are held accountable.”

The Child Victims Act:

  • Increases the amount of time during which perpetrators of these crimes may be held criminally accountable;
  • Allows victims of these crimes to commence a civil lawsuit at any time before they reach 55 years of age;
  • Provides survivors seeking to file actions against public and private institutions for previously time-barred claims a new opportunity for their day in court by opening a one-year window, now extended to two years, for them to commence their civil action;
  • Eliminates the need to file a notice of claim for sexual offenses committed against a minor;
  • Requires judicial training with respect to crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors;
  • Authorizes the Office of Court Administration to promulgate rules and regulations for the timely adjudication of revived actions.