Navigating the New Legal Landscape for Child Sexual Abuse Civil Litigation in State and Federal Court

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 4733390

37 California Litigation Reporter_(Forthcoming April, 2024)

10 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2024 Last revised: 23 Feb 2024

Date Written: February 21, 2024

Abstract

Too many childhood sexual abuse perpetrators have escaped punishment. But an increasing number of survivors are filing civil lawsuits against their abusers, seeking monetary compensation for their injuries.

California’s 2024 Childhood Sexual Assault Act, and the 2022 federal Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act, eliminated the statute of limitations (SOL) for childhood sexual abuse (CSA) claims. These changes are prospective. Molestations occurring prior to their effective dates remain subject to the statutes’ prior restrictions.

This essay launches a state-federal journey that sets sail within the following jurisdictional and procedural seas: the systemic choice between the state’s two judicial systems; SOL differences affecting the overwhelming majority of CSA cases─those occurring prior to the prospective and recent elimination of the respective SOLs; Certificate of Merits requirements; substantive and procedural damage pleading differences; the federal disdain for “Doe” defendants; settlement restrictions; and the systemic differences regarding the right to jury.

Keywords: Child Sexual Abuse; Statute of Limitations; State v. Federal Procedure; Damages; Pre-filing Requirements; Settlement; Right to Jury.

JEL Classification: I00, I14, I18, I31, K00, K13, K14, K36, K41, K42, K49, Z18,

Suggested Citation

Slomanson, William R., Navigating the New Legal Landscape for Child Sexual Abuse Civil Litigation in State and Federal Court (February 21, 2024). Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 4733390, 37 California Litigation Reporter_(Forthcoming April, 2024), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4733390 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4733390

William R. Slomanson (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

701 B Street
Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

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