Posts Tagged Marci Hamilton

The silence of children (locked away in secret archives of the Archdiocese of New York City) / Verdict.justia.com

“The problem for the Catholic bishops on SOL reform is that all of the arguments
against SOL reform don’t hold water.” (Marci Hamilton)

New York lawmakers last week closed their 2017 session in “legislative hell,” as one Senator called it, without resolving a number of important issues, including the Child Victims Act, which would reform New York’s antiquated child sex abuse statutes of limitations (SOLs). It would extend the civil and criminal SOLs, revive expired civil SOLs for one year, and eliminate the “notice of claim” requirement that has hobbled public school victims’ access to justice.

“Governor Andrew Cuomo had endorsed the concept earlier in the year, making him the first state governor to step forward before being asked to sign such a bill. While the assembly had passed a version and the senate appeared to have a majority to vote for it, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, on the next to the last day of the session, blocked its progress from committee to the floor …

“The problem for the Catholic bishops on SOL reform is that all of the arguments against SOL reform don’t hold water …

“They say there will be no evidence from cases long ago and, therefore, they will be at a disadvantage. If I hear ‘memories fade and evidence is lost,’ one more time … But in fact, the bishops have done some great recordkeeping on priests’ sexual assaults on children. Their Secret Archives … have held and still hold much of the information that is needed to prove up a case against a priest, bishop, and/or diocese.”

By Marcia A. Hamilton, Verdict.justia.com — Read more …

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Let victims pursue their abusers: New York’s outdated civil statute of limitations badly needs fixing / New York Daily News

The following is an op-ed piece published in the New York Daily News by attorney Marci Hamilton, a law professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and author of “Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children.”

The greatest barrier to child protection is ignorance. The movie (‘Spotlight’) shows smart, experienced journalists struggling to comprehend what was right in front of them. ‘Spotlight’ will likely educate millions about the ways in which adults and institutions we trust protect adults and put children at risk every day.

“Despite news coverage of one scandal after another, most adults still trust their instincts regarding who is an abuser and who is not. That is dangerous. Until parents, teachers, clergy and all other adults understand the cunning moves of pedophiles and the ease with which we as adults let abusers persist, kids are at serious risk.

“’Spotlight’ should carry special significance in New York, where, unlike in Boston, so little of the truth about the bishops’ cover-up has surfaced. That is because New York shares the ignominious distinction with Alabama, Michigan and Mississippi of having the worst civil statutes of limitations for child sex abuse in the United States.”

Click here to read the rest of this commentary.

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Legal strategy focusing on need to warn public about child abusers gaining ground in Minnesota

St. Cloud Diocese to undergo unprecedented abuse investigation

The St. Cloud Diocese faces the prospect of making unprecedented disclosures about priests accused of sexual misconduct, under a ruling filed Monday (June 29) in Stearns County court that builds on a series of legal victories for Minnesotans claiming clergy abuse.

“Judge Kris Davick-Halfen ruled that lawyers can proceed with a ‘public nuisance’ claim against the diocese by an alleged victim of priest sex abuse — a move that allows attorneys to investigate the diocese’s records and documents on all priests who have been accused of misconduct over decades.

“Four of Minnesota’s six dioceses now face similar court-ordered scrutiny. Judges have made similar rulings on the public nuisance claim in the dioceses of Winona and New Ulm as well as the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The motion is under advisement in a case against a priest from the Diocese of Duluth …

“’This is a novel strategy that is particularly valuable because it focuses on the need of the public to be warned about potential child predators, said (Marci) Hamilton a law professor at Yeshiva University in New York and a national expert on clergy abuse litigation).”

By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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The California Catholic Bishops Fight Access to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims / Marci Hamilton

At the end of July, Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archbishop Jose Gomez sent the following letter to the editor of California Catholic, Bob McPhail, asking him to publish Gomez’s letter encouraging parishioners to contact their state elected representatives urging them to vote against statute-of-limitations (SOL) reform for child-sex- abuse victims, by voting against Bill SB131.  The primary target of the Catholic bishops, and bishops nationwide, is this statute-of-limitations window which would open a one-year period during which those victims of clergy child sex abuse whose statutes of limitations had expired (which is the vast majority) could still file lawsuits against their abusers and those who covered up the abuse.” By Marci Hamilton, in Verdict.Justia.com

Read all of Marci Hamilton’s article by clicking here.

Marci A. Hamilton is a professor of law at Cardozo School of Law, and the author of “Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children.”

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Who Is Fighting for Justice for Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors Through Statutes of Limitations Reform?

Leading Church/state scholar Marci Hamiltion writes in today’s “Verdict” online blog: ‘The movement to eliminate the child-sex-abuse statutes of limitations (“SOLs”) so that victims can obtain justice is stronger and more impressive than ever. Never before has there been so much activity in so many states at once. Last year, Hawaii enacted a 2-year window, and a few other states expanded their SOLs. (Such bills allow claims that would otherwise have been timed out, to be revived and brought to court during a specified period of time.) This year, windows, the extension, or elimination of SOLs are pending in many states, including Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. Plus Arkansas already eliminated its criminal SOL. This is progress!'”

Read the rest of Ms. Hamilton’s “Who Is Afraid of Justice of Child Sex Abuse Victims, and Who Is Fighting for It?” by clicking here.

You can download a printable version of Voice of the Faithful’s “Statute of Limitation Reform: Advocacy Guide” by clicking here.

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