Statute of Limitations CA AB-1510
In the last few years, greater awareness surrounding sexual abuse, assault and violence has led to groundbreaking changes to related laws in many states. Major sexual abuse scandals and lawsuits involving powerful institutions, along with nationwide advocacy such as the #MeToo Movement, pushed lawmakers to reform laws that made it unreasonably difficult for victims to obtain justice. The passing of California Assembly Bill 1510 (AB-1510) is one example of recent reforms in the state that benefit survivors.
What Is CA AB-1510?
Assembly Bill 1510 was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 2, 2019. The purpose of this bill was to amend a previous bill, AB-1619, to broaden its scope and allow more sexual assault survivors to file lawsuits. AB-1619 was a bill passed in 2018 to extend the statute of limitations (deadline to file) for adult victims of sexual assault.
AB-1619 changed the deadline to file a civil sexual assault or misconduct claim from 2 years to either 10 years from the date of the last act or attempted act of sexual assault or 3 years from the date that the victim discovers his or her injury or illness is related to sexual assault – whichever is later. The drawback to AB-1610 was that it only applied to claims brought on or after January 1, 2019. It did not act retrospectively to allow claimants to revive previously time-barred claims.
AB-1510 amended AB-1619 so that it applies to older cases, as well. This bill states that any adult victim of sexual assault or another type of sexual misconduct can revive a previously time-barred civil claim that 1) involves a physician at a student health center from January 1, 1988, to January 1, 2017; 2) seeks financial compensation of more than $250,000; or 3) was otherwise time-barred prior to January 1, 2020.
How Long Do You Have to File a Sexual Assault Lawsuit in California?
The passing of AB-1510, AB-1619 and other bills that were referred to as California’s “#MeToo package” – such as AB-218 and AB-3092 – may have changed how long you have to file a civil lawsuit against a perpetrator and/or institution for sexual abuse or assault. For example, AB-218 changed the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse cases in California from age 26 or 3 years from the date of discovery to age 40 or 5 years from discovery.
Assembly Bill 1510 may give you a window of time to file a lawsuit if you were previously told that your statute of limitations expired. If your sexual assault lawsuit fulfills any of the three above-mentioned stipulations, your time limit has changed from 2 years to 10 years (or longer for the delayed discovery of sexual assault injuries, illnesses or mental health conditions). This is an important change that could give you the right to revive a previously barred claim.
Consult With an Attorney Today
Statutes of limitations are some of the most complicated laws in California. They are also some of the most important to know and obey as a claimant. With only a few exceptions, the civil courts in California will refuse to hear a lawsuit that is brought after the statute of limitations. If you wait too long to file, you may forfeit the right to hold someone accountable and recover financial compensation.
Contact an attorney from Manly, Stewart & Finaldi as soon as possible to discuss your legal options as a survivor. We can help you navigate Assembly Bills 1510, 1619, 218 and more in the fight for justice. Call (800) 700-8450 today for more information.