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Posted on: March 15, 2019

Senate Approves Bill Expanding Statute of Limitations on Sexual Abuse Claims

On Thursday, the State Senate voted 32-1 in favor of S-477. The Assembly version of the bill (A-3648) was reported out of committee on Monday and we expect the full Assembly to vote on the legislation later this month. This legislation would extend the statute of limitations in civil actions for sexual abuse claims, expand categories of potential defendants, and create a two-year window for parties to bring actions previously time-barred.

The League is supportive of any measure that would allow survivors of sexual assault the ability to seek justice against the individual perpetrator as well as those who knowingly and willfully enabled them. However, we have concerns with language in the bill that would completely eliminate the application of Title 59 (Tort Claims Act) in such cases against municipal governments. The wholesale exemption to all of Title 59 in these matters would create a host of unintended consequences outside of the scope of the legislation’s purpose.

We are urging the Assembly to delay action on the bill until these concerns can be fully addressed. We are asking our members to reach out to their legislators to ask that they take a closer look at the potential impact the total removal of Title 59 in these cases would have on municipal governments and property taxpayers.    

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, fmarshall@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x137.


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