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State courts now allowing Child Victims Act filings

May 07, 2020 3:30 pm
Cayla Harris is reporting for the Times Union the state court system will make an exception and allow new filings under the Child Victims Act in the coming weeks even as other non-essential court filings remain frozen during the pandemic, Lucian Chalfen, a spokesperson for the state Office of Court Administration said May 7. "We will not deny those litigants the ability to file," Chalfen said in an email. The decision comes as survivors and advocates increasingly call to extend the act's one-year look-back period that is set to expire in August. Chalfen points out that any extension of the window would require executive or legislative action. More than 1,700 lawsuits have been filed by people previously time-barred from lodging claims against their alleged sexual abusers. However, court filings were paused in March as the coronavirus pandemic effectively shut down the state court system. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed an order in March suspending statutes of limitations during the state of emergency, but it is uncertain whether the moratorium also applies to the Child Victims Act's one-year window. Read the full story in the Times Union.