By Maria Rocha-Buschel
State Senator Brad Hoylman is pushing to extend the revival window for the Child Victims Act (CVA) by another year because the pause on non-essential court filings cuts short the full 12-month period for survivors to file suit.
“Pausing all non-essential court filings is a difficult but necessary step to protect the health and well-being of our judicial system,” Hoylman said. “When we finally passed the Child Victims Act, we attempted to guarantee a full 12-month period for survivors to file suit. Yet because COVID-19 has indefinitely paused our judicial system, the CVA’s revival window has effectively closed as of today.”
The Office of Court Administration (OCA) last month announced an indefinite pause on non-essential filings and Hoylman argued that as a result, the CVA’s revival window is now effectively closed. The year-long lookback window opened last August when the law went into effect and it is unknown if survivors will be able to file claims again before the window was supposed to close this coming August.
The CVA offers a one-year lookback window for survivors of sexual abuse to files claims in instances where the statute of limitations has expired. It allows survivors of child sex abuse to file a civil suit against their abusers or institutions that enabled abuse up until the age of 55, while the previous age limit was 23.
“It’s always been prudent to extend the CVA’s revival window by another year, matching similar policies in progressive states like California, New Jersey and Hawaii,” Hoylman said. “Now, the massive unexpected interruption to our judicial system makes the need for extending the CVA more urgent than ever. New York promised survivors in 2019 that we’d give them a chance to seek justice—and we must live up to that promise. We must extend the Child Victims Act’s revival window for an additional year, either in standalone legislation or as part of the budget.”
The original bill and the one-year extension were both co-sponsored by Hoylman and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal.