Filing Clergy Sexual Abuse Claims Through Private Mediation
The New Jersey Legislature recently considered extending the statute of limitations for clergy sexual abuse claims. Thus far the Senate approved a proposal that would remove the current statute of limitations and replace it with new legislation. The proposed bill would increase the statute of limitations from two years to seven for abuse survivors to file claims against their abusers. It would also allow minors who suffered sexual abuse and assault to file until they reach the age of 55.
Once the House approves the bill, the legislation will be reviewed by the governor. If Governor Murphy signs the bill into law, the new guidelines would go into effect by December 1, 2019. In that case, survivors will be able to file complaints in Superior Court for past clergy sexual abuse claims.
Options for Recovering Compensation
Until the new guidelines for filing clergy abuse claims are enacted, survivors can file for compensation through a private mediation program. The private mediation program is similar to a mediation program for New York clergy abuse claims. The financial compensation comes from the compensation funds set up by the five New Jersey dioceses. The victim or survivor does not have to testify in court, at a deposition, or before the mediators. The claim, which is confidential, is decided by the documents submitted to the mediators and may stem from abuse that occurred as far back as the 1970s or even earlier.
It is important to understand that by electing to participate in the compensation funds provided by the diocese, the abuse survivor relinquishes the right to file a lawsuit. Additionally, the compensation funds will not cover any abuse committed by clergy members from other religious orders. Receiving compensation may not offer the abuse survivor the necessary closure or sufficiently hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions.
Help for Abuse Survivors is Available
Attorneys at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr successfully handled a claim through the clergy mediation program last year, which resulted in a $400,000 recovery for our client. We are familiar with the mediation process and have worked with the mediation of similar cases.
We have the experience and the resources to provide the appropriate expert witnesses. We understand how the experience of clergy sexual abuse in childhood may be extremely traumatic and difficult to talk about. Our compassionate and highly skilled team will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the justice you deserve. When we meet with clients who faced abuse, we provide compassion, knowledge, and discretion by offering confidential consultations with one of our skilled attorneys.
New Jersey Clergy Abuse Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Pursue Maximum Compensation for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
If you suffered sexual abuse from a clergy member in the past, please contact the New Jersey clergy abuse lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr for help and legal guidance. To arrange a free and confidential case review, please call us at 732-249-4600 or toll-free at 877-249-4600 or contact us online.
From our offices in Highland Park, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout New Jersey including the communities of New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.