Arkansas Abuse Survivors Have Until January 2026 to File Lawsuits Against Those Responsible

by | Feb 12, 2024 | Catholic Church, Other Church & Religious Organizations, Other Sexual Abuse, Survivor Support Resources

Arkansas Sex Abuse Window open until 2026Arkansas Lawmakers Give Survivors Double the Time to Sue Anyone Responsible

In 2023, Arkansas lawmakers voted to extend the statute of limitations “window” for anyone sexually abused as a kid, giving survivors double the time previously had under a 2021 law, which gave survivors of abuse two years to file suit regardless of when their abuse happened.  In 2023, lawmakers voted to extend the window to January 31, 2026, giving survivors of abuse another two years beyond the original window. In the first two years, more than 100 lawsuits were filed in the state of Arkansas on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse.

Horowitz Law attorneys Adam Horowitz and Jessica Arbour have extensive experience representing survivors of sexual abuse in Arkansas, including against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock.  Sexual abuse by any member of the clergy is an egregious breach of trust.   Since 2000, the lawyers of Horowitz Law have handled hundreds of clergy sexual abuse cases involving various religious institutions, including the Diocese of Little Rock. These cases have arisen in religious schools, churches/parishes, seminaries, religious counseling, retreats, schools, and other activities sponsored by religious institutions.

In 2010, the attorneys of Horowitz Law obtained a landmark court ruling against the Diocese of Little Rock in a lawsuit filed by a woman sexually exploited by her parish priest, a known serial predator of vulnerable adult women in the Little Rock Diocese. The Diocese asserted that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution barred the plaintiff’s lawsuit because it would infringe upon the Free Exercise of Religion clause to allow the Diocese to be sued. A loss would mean that no survivor of clergy sexual abuse could ever seek justice in Arkansas Courts.  But Adam Horowitz and Jessica Arbour persevered, and in a lengthy written decision, they won the nuanced legal argument and eventually obtained a significant settlement for their client.  They have had similar successes fighting other legal arguments intended to close the courthouse to survivors of abuse, including the statute of limitations and attempts to keep damning information about the Church’s coverup of sexual abuse from the general public.

In fighting these battles, our attorneys have become very familiar with the church’s unique hierarchy, record-keeping policies, terminology, and defense tactics and are often called upon by colleagues to consult on these matters.

Most importantly, we have become familiar with the unique challenges and needs of survivors of clergy sexual abuse – and their families – during the legal process.  Your safety and well-being are always our first priority.

Through our firm’s own investigation, we have identified at least 30 members of the Catholic clergy who have been accused of sexual abuse and misconduct in the Diocese of Little Rock.  Click here for more information.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Little Rock and throughout the state of Arkansas.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss a potential lawsuit and your other options as a survivor of sexual abuse in Arkansas.  Your chance to pursue legal action will soon be over.  Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss the temporary window to file a lawsuit, so please contact us to discuss your case today.    Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to [email protected].