“Window” Laws Have Arrived to Revive the Statute of Limitations

| Jun 9, 2021 | Catholic Church

“Window” Laws are not just ‘one-offs’ any more.

They are now the go-to legislative measure to repair decades of arbitrary statute of limitations laws that have denied sexual abuse survivors meaningful access to the civil court system.

“Window” laws create a period of time in which abuse sexual abuse survivors whose claims are currently expired under existing statutes of limitations can bring their civil lawsuits without the obstacle of a statute of limitations defense.   The whole reason these laws are needed is that many states have arbitrary and woefully short statute of limitations periods requiring child sexual abuse victims to file civil lawsuits before the survivors are psychologically and emotionally ready to process and seek justice for their abuse.

Arguably, the “Window” laws are the quickest and cheapest ways to protect victims because they enable victims of child sexual abuse to expose child molesters who may well be abusing kids right now.

How? By letting victims file civil lawsuits against the bad guys, specifically anyone who, at any time, sexually violated a child or concealed such crimes.

Those lawsuits protect kids by exposing child molesters and deterring ‘cover uppers.’

At least twenty U.S. states have offered or are offering these chances for victims to seek justice.

And they’re not just happening in liberal states these days.

The first few civil windows were passed in Connecticut, California Oregon, Hawaii and Minnesota. The next few were in Michigan, Massachusetts and New York.

More recently, these reforms were adopted in Montana, New Jersey and Vermont.

And lately, even conservative legislatures – in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky and West Virginia – have passed window laws.

These encouraging child safety measures are also spawning similar opportunities for other victims of violence.

In Vermont, for instance, politicians may let victims of childhood violence sure perpetrators.


In New York, there’s movement toward a window for survivors of adult sexual violation.


A short while ago, Michigan passed an unusual window just for victims of an abusive coach, Larry Nassar.

Expect this progress to continue. Please share news of this positive trend with others.

And in the meantime, keep in mind these deadlines later this year by which victims must take legal action:

New York – Aug. 13

New Jersey Nov. 30

California – Dec. 31, 2022

North Carolina – Dec. 31

Finally, the best news of all: Vermont’s window never closes!

Though there’s far to go, never have there been more opportunities for survivors of trauma in childhood to have the chance so many other crime victims have: to have their day in court!

Horowitz Law represents children and adults who were victims of sexual abuse by clergy, teachers, day care personnel, doctors, massage therapists, boy scouts leaders, youth group leaders, and countless others who commit sexual abuse.  If you or someone you know was a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected]