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Maryland

Civil Statute of Limitations

  • Delayed SOL for Actions Based on Child Sexual Abuse (18 + 7 Years); Delayed SOL for Most Other Personal Injury Actions (18 + 3 Years) : Child sexual abuse actions may be brought within 7 years of the date the victim turns 18 years old. MD. CODE ANN., CTS. & JUD. PROC. 5-117 (2008). Most other claims based on injury caused by sexual acts on a minor that do not constitute sexual abuse fall under the general SOL, which is 3 years, see id. 5-101, although this period will be tolled until the victim turns 18. Id. 5-201.
     
  • Discovery Rule Possible But Unlikely : While the Maryland Court of Special Appeals has declined to extend the common law discovery rule to child sexual abuse actions, see, e.g., Doe v. Archdiocese of Washington, 689 A.2d 634 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1997), those decisions predate the expansion of the SOL for such actions in 2003 (see above) and generally relied, at least in part, on the fact that the Legislature had created no SOL exception for child sexual abuse actions. See id.
     
  • No Retroactivity : Effective date, October 1, 2003. 2003 Md. Laws 360, sec 2.
     
Criminal Statute of Limitations

  • No SOL for Felony Offenses; 1 Year SOL for Misdemeanors : Maryland has no time limitation for prosecutions of felonies. See Clark v. State, 744 A.2d 113, n.8 (Md. 2001). Most sexual offenses are classified as felonies. MD. CODE ANN., CRIM. LAW 3-301 to -324 (2008). Misdemeanors may be prosecuted within 1 year. MD. CODE ANN., CTS. & JUD. PROC. 5-106 (2008).
     


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SOL Reform
At-a-Glance

Access our fact sheet, "Reforming Statutes of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse", by clicking the title to dispel some of the most prevalent myths on SOL reform.

Exposing the Myth

SOL reform is not anti-Catholic, nor is it directed against the Catholic Church. Click HERE to see why the argument that it is fails.

Facts About Child Sexual Abuse

Click HERE for a brief compilation and examination of a number of studies regarding childhood sexual abuse. It is clear from the numbers that something must be done - SOL reform is the most effective method of finding hidden predators.

Misinformation Spread About the NY Child Victims Act

Read our new document dispelling the untruths that have been circulated against the Child Victims Act and explaining the truth about the Child Victims Act by clicking HERE.
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