On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court set the deadline for filing all sexual abuse claims against Rockville Center’s Diocese for August 14, 2021. The Diocese filed for Chapter 11 protection earlier this year to resolve all pending sex abuse claims against the Diocese with the bankruptcy court’s assistance. This bankruptcy impacts the rights of Sexual Abuse Survivors against the Diocese in the case, In re: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York.
Contrary to what you might think, a bankruptcy filing does not mean the Diocese is broke: it implies the Diocese is asking for the Bankruptcy Court for help resolving the rest of the sexual abuse claims against it. Its assets will be allocated among all of its creditors, including an unknown number of sexual abuse claimants, known and unknown. It is also a means by which a Catholic Diocese can continue to protect itself and its secrets. For that reason, it is often criticized by survivor advocates and attorneys. The Diocese of Rockville Centre will not likely have to publicize any priest personnel files as part of this process, for example.
The August 14 filing deadline is also referred to as a “bar date” in bankruptcy law. It is a strict, non-negotiable deadline by which all existing claims must be filed against the Diocese of Rockville Centre, or claimants will be forever barred from seeking relief in the future. Regardless of how old the sexual abuse survivor is today or when the abuse occurred, they need to file their claim to receive it by 5 pm on that day. If the victims do not file a timely Sexual Abuse Claim, they may lose rights against the Diocese and Diocese related entities, including any right to compensation. Anyone who was sexually abused on or before October 1, 2020, and believes the Diocese may be responsible for the sexual abuse must file a claim.
For survivors of sexual abuse by anyone employed by the Diocese of Rockville Centre such as a priest, teacher, sacristan, or lay volunteer, this likely means that even if New York lawmakers extend the statute of limitations and otherwise allow you to file a lawsuit, your claim will barred by the bankruptcy bar date. That makes it critically important for anyone who a Rockville Centre Diocese employee victimized to contact competent counsel as soon as possible to discuss your options: the fact is that you probably won’t have any options after August 14, 2021.
The August 14 deadline is a strict filing deadline set by the Court and will not likely be extended by the Court for any reason. Therefore, you should contact us immediately for a free and confidential consultation about your legal options as a survivor of abuse in the Rockville Centre Diocese.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Rockville Centre and throughout New York. The Diocese of Rockville Centre filed for federal bankruptcy protection in October 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Rockville Centre may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines have been set by the Bankruptcy Court. Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Rockville Centre will never be able to take against against the Diocese of Rockville Centre if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your legal options today.