Pandemic Stalls CVA Cases in NYC: Lawmakers May Extend Legal Window

Brooklyn Reader

May 2, 2020

By Albert Cooper

The Child Victims Act (CVA), which was enacted last year, is widely lauded for opening up the time frame for victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits over claims that were previously barred from court due to the statute of limitations.

Amid the pandemic that has nearly clogged the wheel of justice, state lawmakers are yet to decide on extending a one-year legal window that allowed survivors of child sex abuse to sue over decades-old allegations.

The legal window is set to close in August, but New York’s court system is no longer accepting CVA lawsuits. Since the state’s court system has postponed all non-essential services and the CVA lawsuits were not listed as essential under an order from Lawrence Marks, the state’s chief administrative judge, this has effectively placed a hold on new litigation under the act.

It should be noted that an executive order from Cuomo last month paused the state’s statute of limitations, tolling “any specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding.”

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