The Laws That Should Protect Our Children
Current Civil SOL in a nutshell
SOL vs. perp: None SOL vs. employer: None
Majority Tolling: Age 18 Discovery Tolling: Narrow l
No statute of limitations as to perpetrator, or as to gross negligence against employer. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 8145(a)-(b).
2-Year Window (2007-2009): Open from July 1, 2007. Id.
- Majority, yes.
a. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 8116 (“If a person entitled to any action comprehended within Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, §§ 8101-8115, shall have been, at the time of the accruing of the cause of action, under disability of infancy or incompetency of mind, this chapter shall not be a bar to such action during the continuance of such disability, nor until the expiration of three years from the removal thereof”)
- Discovery, yes, narrow. Mooted by elimination.
a. Whitwell v. Archmere Acad., Inc., No: 07C-08-006 (RBY), 2008 Del. Super. LEXIS 141 at *17, 2008 WL 1735370 (Del. Super. Ct. Apr. 16, 2008) (“[P]laintiff presented psychological evidence showing that he mentally blocked the nine years of abuse…under the Discovery Rule for inherently unknowable injuries. This rule forces the statute of limitations to begin when the injury becomes known or knowable if it was otherwise inherently unknowable.”)
Current Criminal SOL in a nutshell
None for felonies (effective 9/14/92)
11 DEL. C. § 205 (E) NOTWITHSTANDING THE PERIOD PRESCRIBED BY SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION, A PROSECUTION FOR ANY CRIME THAT IS DELINEATED IN § 787 OF THIS TITLE AND IN WHICH THE VICTIM IS A MINOR, SUBPART D OF SUBCHAPTER II OF CHAPTER 5 OF THIS TITLE, OR IS OTHERWISE DEFINED AS A “SEXUAL OFFENSE” BY § 761 OF THIS TITLE EXCEPT § 763, § 764 OR § 765 OF THIS TITLE, OR ANY ATTEMPT TO COMMIT SAID CRIMES, MAY BE COMMENCED AT ANY TIME. NO PROSECUTION UNDER THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE BASED UPON THE MEMORY OF THE VICTIM THAT HAS BEEN RECOVERED THROUGH PSYCHOTHERAPY UNLESS THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE OF THE CORPUS DELICTI INDEPENDENT OF SUCH REPRESSED MEMORY. THIS SUBSECTION APPLIES TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION ARISING BEFORE, ON OR AFTER JULY 15, 1992, AND TO THE EXTENT CONSISTENT WITH THIS SUBSECTION, IT SHALL REVIVE CAUSES OF ACTION THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE BARRED BY THIS SECTION.
“EXCEPT § 763, § 764 OR § 765 OF THIS TITLE” – correspond to indecent exposure in 1st & 2nd degrees and sexual harassment
Age of Majority / Age of Consent / Age of Marriage
Age of Majority: 18. See, Del. Code Ann. tit. 1, § 701.
Age of Consent: 16 or 18 depending on the age of the perpetrator. See, Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 770.
Age of Marriage with Parental Consent: Under 18 with judicial consent.
Age of Marriage without Parental Consent: 18.
See, Del. Code Ann. tit. 13 § 123.
Medical Neglect Statute
CIVIL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE
No child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall for that reason alone be considered a neglected child for purposes of this chapter.
Delaware Code §16-913 (on reporting obligations)
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize any court to terminate the rights of a parent to a child, solely because the parent, in good faith, provides for his or her child, in lieu of medical treatment, treatment by spiritual means alone through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination.
Delaware Code §13-1103(c)
CRIMINAL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE
DELAWARE defense to child endangerment
In any prosecution for endangering the welfare of a child, except where it is alleged to be punishable under § 1102(b)(1) or (b)(2) of this title, which is based upon an alleged failure or refusal to provide proper medical care or treatment to an ill child, it is an affirmative defense that the accused is a member or adherent of an organized church or religious group, the tenets of which prescribe prayer as the principal treatment for illness, and treated or caused the ill child to be treated in accordance with those tenets; provided the accused may not assert this defense when the person has violated any laws relating to communicable or reportable diseases and to sanitary matters.
Delaware Code title 11 §1104
Note: §1102(b)(1) deals with child endangerment resulting in death; (b)(2) deals with child endangerment resulting in serious physical injury; the religious defense applies only to misdemeanors that do not cause serious physical injury
Note: Sec. 19-3-103 is a civil statute with a religious exemption.
Religous Liberty Statute
Religious liberty statute that could put children at risk
No law as of January 2014.