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A statute of limitations (or SOL), simply, is the maximum amount of time one has to bring a lawsuit from the time of the injury or other ground for a lawsuit.

SOLs vary from state to state and from claim to claim. For example, a SOL for a lawsuit about a contract may be different from a lawsuit about a personal injury and both may be of varying durations between different states. The statute of limitations may also be set to begin running at different times. Some SOLs begin running at the time of the injury and others begin running when the injury is discovered.

Child Sex Abuse Statutes of Limitation and Related Laws

Current Civil SOL

In New York, the civil SOL for sex abuse claims is age 55 for civil suits against a perpetrator or entity for all victims under the age of 23 from the time of the Child Victims Act's Signing (2/14/2019). Victims over the age of 23 at the time of the CVA's signing will benefit from a one year SOL revival window.

SOL vs. perp. (for felonies): Age 55
Revival Window: Yes (1-year window to open 6 months from signing date of 2/14/19)
Majority Tolling: Yes
Discovery: None


New York State Law Provides:

Action by victim of conduct constituting certain sexual offenses
Notwithstanding any other limitation set forth in this article, a civil claim or cause of action to recover from a defendant as hereinafter defined, for physical, psychological or other injury or condition suffered by a person as a result of acts by such defendant of rape in the first degree as defined in section 130.35 of the penal law, or criminal sexual act in the first degree as defined in section 130.50 of the penal law, or aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree as defined in section 130.70 of the penal law, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree as defined in section 130.75 of the penal law may be brought within five years. As used in this section, the term “defendant” shall mean only a person who commits the acts described in this section or who, in a criminal proceeding, could be charged with criminal liability for the commission of such acts pursuant to section 20.00 of the penal law and shall not apply to any related civil claim or cause of action arising from such acts. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require that a criminal charge be brought or a criminal conviction be obtained as a condition of bringing a civil cause of action or receiving a civil judgment pursuant to this section or be construed to require that any of the rules governing a criminal proceeding be applicable to any such civil action.

N.Y. C.P.L.R. 213-c (McKinney)

Notwithstanding any provision of law which imposes a period of limitation to the contrary and the provisions of any other law pertaining to the filing of a notice of claim or a notice of intention to file a claim as a condition precedent to commencement of an action or special proceeding, every civil claim or cause of action brought against any party alleging intentional or negligent acts or omissions by a person for physical, psychological, or other injury or condition suffered as a result of conduct which would constitute a sexual offense as defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, incest as defined in section 255.27, 255.26 or 255.25 of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, or the use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in section 263.05 of the penal law, or a predecessor statute that prohibited such conduct at the time of the act, which conduct was committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, which is barred as of the effective date of this section because the applicable period of limitation has expired, and/or the plaintiff previously failed to file a notice of claim or a notice of intention to file a claim, is hereby revived, and action thereon may be commenced not earlier than six months after, and not later than one year and six months after the effective date of this section. In any such claim or action: (a) in addition to any other defense and affirmative defense that may be available in accordance with law, rule or the common law, to the extent that the acts alleged in such action are of the type described in subdivision one of section 130.30 of the penal law or subdivision one of section 130.45 of the penal law, the affirmative defenses set forth, respectively, in the closing paragraph of such sections of the penal law shall apply; and (b) dismissal of a previous action, ordered before the effective date of this section, on grounds that such previous action was time barred, and/or for failure of a party to file a notice of claim or a notice of intention to file a claim, shall not be grounds for dismissal of a revival action pursuant to this section.

N.Y. C.P.L.R. LAW § 214(g)

Notwithstanding any provision of law which imposes a period of limitation to the contrary and the provisions of any other law pertaining to the filing of a notice of claim or a notice of intention to file a claim as a condition precedent to commencement of an action or special proceeding, with respect to all civil claims or causes of action brought by any person for physical, psychological or other injury or condition suffered by such person as a result of conduct which would constitute a sexual offense as defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law committed against such person who was less than eighteen years of age, incest as defined in section 255.27, 255.26 or 255.25 of the penal law committed against such person who was less than eighteen years of age, or the use of such person in a sexual performance as defined in section 263.05 of the penal law, or a predecessor statute that prohibited such conduct at the time of the act, which conduct was committed against such person who was less than eighteen years of age, such action may be commenced, against any party whose intentional or negligent acts or omissions are alleged to have resulted in the commission of said conduct, on or before the plaintiff or infant plaintiff reaches the age of fifty-five years. In any such claim or action, in addition to any other defense and affirmative defense that may be available in accordance with law, rule or the common law, to the extent that the acts alleged in such action are of the type described in subdivision one of section 130.30 of the penal law or subdivision one of section 130.45 of the penal law, the affirmative defenses set forth, respectively, in the closing paragraph of such sections of the penal law shall apply.


N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 208 (b)


This section shall not apply to any claim made for physical, psychological, or other injury or condition suffered as a result of conduct which would constitute a sexual offense as defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, incest as defined in section 255.27, 255.26 or 255.25 of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, or the use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in section 263.05 of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age.

NY Gen. Mun. § 50–e (b)


Action by former student alleging sexual abuse during his Majority under N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 105(j) by a non-party teacher was time-barred under the three-year statute of limitations for negligence in N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(5) and the one-year statute of limitations for sexual abuse/vicarious liability in N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 215(3) because the infancy and insanity tolls in N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 208 applied concurrently, not consecutively.

John Doe No. 6 v Yeshiva & Mesivta Torah Temimah, Inc. 21 Misc 3d 443, 240 NYLJ 68, 863 NYS2d 891 (NY Super. 2008)

Actions to be commenced within one year: against sheriff, coroner or constable; for escape of prisoner; for assault, battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, libel or slander; for violation of right of privacy; for penalty given to informer; on arbitration award

The following actions shall be commenced within one year:

  1. an action to recover damages for assault, battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, libel, slander, false words causing special damages, or a violation of the right of privacy under section fifty-one of the civil rights law;

NY CPLR § 215

Tolling:

Majority, yes, 18.

Infancy, insanity–If a person entitled to commence an action is under a disability because of infancy or insanity at the time the cause of action accrues, and the time otherwise limited for commencing the action is three years or more and expires no later than three years after the disability ceases, or the person under the disability dies, the time within which the action must be commenced shall be extended to three years after the disability ceases or the person under the disability dies, whichever event first occurs; if the time otherwise limited is less than three years, the time shall be extended by the period of disability. The time within which the action must be commenced shall not be extended by this provision beyond ten years after the cause of action accrues, except, in any action other than for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice, where the person was under a disability due to infancy. This section shall not apply to an action to recover a penalty or forfeiture, or against a sheriff or other officer for an escape.
N.Y. C.P.L.R. LAW § 208

Nothing suggests legislative intent to extend the infancy toll of CPLR § 208 beyond 18 for a person in foster care, nor was foster care alone, without an overall inability to function in society sufficient to invoke the toll for insanity contained in CPLR §208).
Davis v St. Joseph’s Children’s Services, 64 NY2d 794, 486 NYS2d 914, 476 NE2d 313 (N.Y. 1985)

The district court held that Overall’s action was governed by the one-year statute of limitations set forth in N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. § 215(3) (McKinney 1990), 6 but that the limitations period had been tolled until her eighteenth birthday under N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. § 208 (McKinney 1990). Accordingly, the court found that absent some further reason to toll the limitations period, Overall’s claim would have been time-barred on November 8, 1961 — one year after she turned eighteen.
Overall v. Estate of Klotz, 52 F.3d 398, 403, 1995 U.S. App. LEXIS 6375, 12-13 (2d Cir. N.Y. 1995)

Civil tolling during pending criminal action vs perp. Yes.

(a) Whenever it is shown that a criminal action against the same defendant has been commenced with respect to the event or occurrence from which a claim governed by this section arises, the plaintiff shall have at least one year from the termination of the criminal action as defined in section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law in which to commence the civil action, notwithstanding that the time in which to commence such action has already expired or has less than a year remaining.

(b) Whenever it is shown that a criminal action against the same defendant has been commenced with respect to the event or occurrence from which a claim governed by this section arises, and such criminal action is for rape in the first degree as defined in section 130.35 of the penal law, or criminal sexual act in the first degree as defined in section 130.50 of the penal law, or aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree as defined in section 130.70 of the penal law, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree as defined in section 130.75 of the penal law, the plaintiff shall have at least five years from the termination of the criminal action as defined in section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law in which to commence the civil action, notwithstanding that the time in which to commence such action has already expired or has less than a year remaining.

NY CLS CPLR § 215

Discovery, No.

This is not the first time New York courts have faced lawsuits brought by persons who claim to have recently unearthed long-hidden memories of child abuse. In other repressed-memory child abuse cases, New York has consistently refused to toll the statute of limitations on the theory that the abuse victim’s memory loss constituted insanity, that the abuser was somehow profiting from his own wrongdoing (equitable estoppel), or that the limitations period should begin after the abuse was “discovered” through psychotherapy.
Overall v. Estate of Klotz, 52 F.3d 398, 400, 1995 U.S. App. LEXIS 6375, 3 (2d Cir. N.Y. 1995)

Rejecting discovery tolling for drug addiction while noting “the legislative history of CPLR 208 indicates that the Legislature intended the toll for insanity to be narrowly interpreted . . . [and it] meant to extend the toll for insanity to only those individuals who are unable to protect their legal rights because of an over-all inability to function in society. . . . In reaching this conclusion, it should be noted that a contrary interpretation of the statute could greatly and perhaps inappropriately expand the class of persons able to assert the toll for insanity and could, concomitantly, weaken the policy of the Statutes of Limitation as statutes of repose.”) (OVERVIEW: Woman’s civil sexual assault suit was dismissed as untimely as she was not entitled to a tolling of the applicable statute of limitations period based on her alleged insanity as her drug addiction did not establish insanity and she executed various contracts, complaints, and affidavits during the alleged time she was insane and, thus, was able to otherwise protect her legal rights. City of New York Administrative Code provisions that created its own sub-classes of intentional torts modifying the detailed scheme by the New York Legislature were preempted by the state law statute of limitations applicable to the claims.)
Cordero v. Epstein, 22 Misc. 3d 161, 166, 869 N.Y.S.2d 725, 728-729 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2008)

Current Criminal SOL

In New York, there is no criminal SOL for 1st degree rape (including any rape of a child under age 13 by an adult), 1st degree aggravated sexual abuse, and 1st degree course of sexual conduct against a child. The criminal SOL for all other felonies is capped at age 28 for felony to age 28 (age of majority, 18 + 10) and misdemeanor for age 25 (age of majority 18 + 7).

NONE, for 1st degree rape (including any rape of a child under age 13 by an adult), 1st degree aggravated sexual abuse, and 1st degree course of sexual conduct against a child.
SOL for all other felonies vs. perp.: + 10 years from majority= Age 28
SOL for all other misdemeanors vs. perp.: + 7 years from majority = Age 25


New York State Law Provides:

Timeliness of prosecutions; periods of limitation

  1. A criminal action must be commenced within the period of limitation prescribed in the ensuing subdivisions of this section.

  2. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision three:

    (a) A prosecution for a class A felony, or rape in the first degree as defined in section 130.35 of the penal law, or a crime defined or formerly defined in section 130.50 of the penal law, or aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree as defined in section 130.70 of the penal law, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree as defined in section 130.75 of the penal law may be commenced at any time; (b) A prosecution for any other felony must be commenced within five years after the commission thereof;
    (c) A prosecution for a misdemeanor must be commenced within two years after the commission thereof;

  3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision two, the periods of limitation for the commencement of criminal actions are extended as follows in the indicated circumstances:
    (e) A prosecution for course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree as defined in section 130.80 of the penal law may be commenced within five years of the commission of the most recent act of sexual conduct.

    (f) For purposes of a prosecution involving a sexual offense as defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law, other than a sexual offense delineated in paragraph (a) of subdivision two of this section, committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, incest in the first, second or third degree as defined in sections 255.27, 255.26 and 255.25 of the penal law committed against a child less than eighteen years of age, or use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in section 263.05 of the penal law, the period of limitation shall not begin to run until the child has reached the age of twenty-three or the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, whichever occurs earlier.


NY Crim. Pro. § 30.10

Service of charges

The trial counsel to whom court-martial charges are referred for trial shall cause to be served upon the accused a copy of the charges upon which trial is to be had. In time of peace no person shall, against his objection, be brought to trial, or be required to participate by himself or counsel in a session called by the military judge under subdivision (a) of section 130.39 of this chapter, in a general court-martial case within a period of five days after the service of charges upon him or in a special court-martial within a period of three days subsequent to the service of the charges upon him.
NY MIL § 130.35

Admissibility of records of courts of inquiry

(a) In any case not extending to the dismissal of an officer, the sworn testimony, contained in the duly authenticated record of proceedings of a court of inquiry, of a person whose oral testimony cannot be obtained, may, if otherwise admissible under the rules of evidence, be read in evidence by any party before a court-martial if the accused was a party before the court of inquiry and if the same issue was involved or if the accused consents to the introduction of such evidence.
(b) Such testimony may be read in evidence only by the defense in cases extending to the dismissal of an officer.
(c) Such testimony may also be read in evidence before a court of inquiry or a military board.
NY MIL § 130.50

Vacation of suspension

(a) Before the vacation of the suspension of a special court-martial sentence which as approved includes a bad-conduct discharge or any court-martial sentence which includes confinement or of any general court-martial sentence, the officer having special court-martial jurisdiction over the probationer shall hold a hearing on the alleged violation of probation. The probationer shall be represented at the hearing by counsel if he so desires.
(b) The record of the hearing and the recommendations of the officer having special court-martial jurisdiction shall be sent for action to the officer exercising general court-martial jurisdiction over the probationer. If he vacates the suspension, any unexecuted part of the sentence, except a dismissal, shall be executed, subject to applicable restrictions in subdivision (b) of section 130.68 of this article. The vacation of the suspension of a dismissal is not effective until approved by the adjutant general.
(c) The suspension of any other sentence may be vacated by the authority competent to convene, for the command in which the accused is serving or assigned, a court of the kind that imposed the sentence.
NY MIL § 130.70

Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree

  1. A person is guilty of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree when, over a period of time not less than three months in duration:

    (a) he or she engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct, which includes at least one act of sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct or aggravated sexual contact, with a child less than eleven years old; or
    (b) he or she, being eighteen years old or more, engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct, which include at least one act of sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct or aggravated sexual contact, with a child less than thirteen years old.

  2. A person may not be subsequently prosecuted for any other sexual offense involving the same victim unless the other charged offense occurred outside the time period charged under this section.
    Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree is a class B felony.
    NY PENAL § 130.75

Age of Majority: 18. See, N.Y. C.P.L.R. 105(j).
Age of Consent: 17. See, N.Y. Penal Law § 130.55.

Age of Marriage with Parental Consent: 17 with judicial consent [effective July 20, 2017].
Age of Marriage without Parental Consent: 18.
See, N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law §§ 15, 15-a.


Medical Neglect Statute

Civil Medical Neglect Statute

There is a religious exemption to child endangerment for parents who fail to provide proper medical care to their child in favor of spiritual treatment in accordance with an established religion.

New York Civil Statute:
NEW YORK defense to child endangerment
In any prosecution for endangering the welfare of a child 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 defendant is a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of such child; 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 such ill child to be treated in accordance with such tenets.
New York Penal Law §260.15

Criminal Medical Neglect Statute

There is no religious exemption to criminal liability for parents failing to provide medical care based on faith.

New York Criminal Statute:
None


DNA Provision

Current DNA Provision

*As of December 2018

subdivision (4)(a)(ii) excludes a period during which the “whereabouts of the defendant” were “continuously unknown and continuously unascertainable by the exercise of reasonable diligence.” The phrase “whereabouts of the defendant” includes the situations where the “police may be ignorant of the whereabouts of a perpetrator of a crime where they have identified the perpetrator but lack knowledge of his or her physical location, or where they have not identified the perpetrator at all and thus cannot determine where he or she is.” People v. Seda, 93 N.Y.2d 307, 311, supra (1999)

(“defendant's whereabouts were ‘continuously unknown and continuously unascertainable,’ despite the reasonable diligence of the detectives assigned to the case, until his DNA profile from the rape kit taken from the victim was matched to DNA evidence taken from defendant pursuant to a subsequent incarceration”). People v. Ramos, 13 N.Y.3d 881, 881-82, 893 N.Y.S.2d 831, 921 N.E.2d 598 (2009).

N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 30.10 (McKinney)


Religous Liberty Statute

Religious liberty statute that could put children at risk

No law as of January 2014


The information provided is solely for informational purposes and is not legal advice. To determine the SOL in a particular case, contact a lawyer in the state.