Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

by | Jul 17, 2023 | Catholic Church

Ogdensburg Diocese Horowitz Law


On July 17, 2023, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the face of more than 124 lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by priests and other Diocese employees. The bankruptcy filing in the Northern District of New York Bankruptcy Court comes after New York lawmakers opened a two-year window in 2019 that allowed victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits even if the statute of limitations had previously expired.  As a result of the bankruptcy, all pending civil lawsuits against the Diocese of Ogdensburg are put on hold, and those claims will be handled exclusively within the Bankruptcy Court.

The Diocese of Ogdensburg was established in 1872.  It is the fifth New York Diocese to file bankruptcy since 2019.  It is one of several Catholic dioceses across the country that have filed for bankruptcy in recent years due to the rising cost of child sex abuse lawsuits. Dozens of alleged perpetrators have been identified by Horowitz Law in the Diocese of Ogdensburg.

Catholic Dioceses currently in bankruptcy across the United States include Albany, Buffalo, Camden, Norwich, Oakland, Rockville Centre, Rochester, Santa Rosa, and Syracuse.  The bankruptcy filing by the Diocese of Ogdensburg is a costly and major blow to the Catholic Church, which has been struggling to deal with the fallout from the child sex abuse scandal. The scandal has rocked the church’s reputation and led to a decline in attendance.

The Diocese of Ogdensburg claims it has neither the financial means nor the practical ability to litigate all of the pending abuse claims in state court. The Bankruptcy filing requires all of the claims to be filed and decided in a single forum – the Bankruptcy Court.

For the victims of child sex abuse, the bankruptcy filing by the Diocese of Ogdensburg is a reminder that their suffering has not been forgotten. Over 124 survivors have come forward with their stories in the hope of bringing justice to the perpetrators and preventing future abuse. It is not too late to confidentially bring a sexual abuse claim against the Diocese of Ogdensburg. A Claims deadline will be established by the Bankruptcy Court.  If you were a victim of child sex abuse by a priest or other church employee, you may be entitled to compensation through the bankruptcy claims process.

The attorneys at Horowitz Law have a long history of representing survivors of child sex abuse.  If you or someone you know was abused by a priest in the Diocese of Ogdensburg, please contact Horowitz Law today for a free consultation. We can help you understand your legal options and fight for the justice you deserve.  Please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.