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Pennsylvania

Civil Statute of Limitations

  • Delayed Tolling for Minors; Twelve-Year Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sexual Abuse : Victims who were minors when the abuse occurred have twelve years from their 18th birthday to bring a civil action regardless of whether or not the victim brings a criminal proceeding as well. 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.§ 5533 (2008).
     
  • No Discovery Statute for Repressed Memories : The courts will not toll the statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases regardless of the victim’s inability to bring suit due to repressed memories. The Court reasoned that the discovery statute is for when “the injury is not readily discernible as opposed to cases where it is the incapacity of the plaintiff which causes the delay in bringing suit.” Dalrymple v. Brown, 701 A.2d 164, 168 (1997); Pearce v. The Salvation Army & Crouch, 674 A.2d 1123 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1996); Seto v. Willits, 638 A.2d 258 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1994).
     
  • No Retroactivity for Previously Time-Barred Claims : The statute will not revive any claim which has been barred by a prior existing statute of limitations. Act. No. 2002-86, sec. 3, § 5533(b), 2002 Pa. Laws (West).
     
Criminal Statute of Limitations

  • Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sexual Abuse Charges End When the Minor Victim Turns 50 : Prosecution of childhood sexual abuse charges must be commenced before the minor victim turns 50 years old. 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.§ 5552(c)(3) (2008).
     
  • DNA Exception : If a DNA test can identify an otherwise unidentifiable perpetrator, prosecution may be commenced within the previously stated statute of limitations, or one year after the identity of the perpetrator is discovered, whichever is later. 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann.§ 5552(c.1) (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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