Court Sets March 1 Deadline for Claims of Sex Abuse by Priests

By David Hammer
September 17, 2020

A federal bankruptcy judge set a deadline of March 1, 2021, for victims of sex abuse by Catholic clergy to file compensation claims against the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The deadline, known as a “bar date,” comes 10 months after the archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 1. A bar date is a standard part of any bankruptcy, but setting this one has been controversial and contentious.

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Grabill ended a 5-hour marathon court hearing held via teleconference Thursday by setting the March 1 bar date, saying she decided to “split the baby” between the Jan. 29 and March 31 deadlines requested by the archdiocese and a the creditors, respectively.

Non-abuse claimants, such as vendors that have business with the archdiocese, have until Nov. 30, 2020, to file their claims.

The church and its creditors have argued angrily about setting a bar date for months. The archdiocese says it has every interest in paying all legitimate claims, but creditors claim the church can’t be trusted. They say the Archdiocese of New Orleans has plenty of money and filed for bankruptcy in “bad faith” to keep further evidence of abuse from coming out in court.

The archdiocese had about three dozen sex abuse cases moved from state to federal court so they would be stopped pending the bankruptcy. That meant Archbishop Greg Aymond didn’t have to testify under oath in a deposition that was already scheduled for later in May.








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