Pending Bills: SB 924 (Civil)

September 30, 2014: VETOED by Governor Jerry Brown

View Bill TextFinal SB 924 Bill Text (Vetoed)   View SB 924 Veto Message (PDF)

Pending Bills: SB 926 (criminal)

September 30, 2014: SIGNED by Governor Jerry Brown

Final SB 926 Bill Text (signed September 30, 2014)

Current Civil Law

  • Special Childhood Sexual Abuse Statute Of Limitations: 8 Years (up to age 26) or 3 years after the date

    “the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual abuse.”

    (with certificate of merit only).Ca. Civ. Proc. Code § 340.1(a)- (h)

  • Limited Discovery Rule: 3 years. Actions against a person for committing childhood sexual abuse may be brought “within 3 years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual abuse . . . .” Id. Actions for liability against a person who owed the victim a duty of care and actions against a third party whose intentional act was the legal cause of the sexual abuse are barred on the victim reaches age 26, unless that person failed to take reasonable steps to prevent future unlawful sexual conduct by an employee or representative that it knew or had reason to know had engaged in such conduct. Id. § 340.1(b).
  • 1 Year Window : From January 1, 2003. Id. § 340.1(c)

    • Note: § 340.1(c) and (d)(1) (relating to the 2003 window) were found unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court in Perez v. Roe 1, 146 Cal. App. 4th 171 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 2006)

Current Criminal Law

Up to Age 28 for felony sexual offenses against a child
  • Tolling: No  –  Exceptions: Yes

Delayed Statute Of Limitations For Most Sex Crimes Against Victims Less Than 16: Until victim is 28 years old. Ca. Penal Code § 801.1 allows prosecutions for a number of felony sex crimes committed against victims younger than 18 to be brought any time before the victim’s 28th birthday. Felony sex crimes are sodomy, oral copulation, and sexual penetration of victims less than 16, §§ 286, 288a, 288.7, and performing lewd or lascivious acts against a child under the age of 14, § 288.

Reporting Window: 1 Year: After the above Statute of Limitations has expired, prosecutions for a sexual crime committed against a victim younger than 18 may be brought within 1 year of the date a report is filed with a state law enforcement agency. Ca. Penal Code § 803(f). In this case, the allegations must be corroborated by admissible, independent evidence other than the victim’s own testimony. Id.

Leading Cases

  • APA_Amicus_Brief_in_Stogner (2003) – Amicus brief of the American Psychiatric Association in the U.S. Supreme court case of Stogner v.  California. The brief contains a lengthy list of scientific studies on the impact of sexual abuse and the difficulties survivors face coming forward. This was the case that dealt with California’s efforts to revive previously time barred criminal cases back in 2002.  Ultimately, the U.S.  Supreme Court held that effort to be unconstitutional.

State Outreach Organizations

Contact:

Jeffrey R. Dion
Deputy Executive Director
National Center for Victims of Crime

Director
National Crime Victim Bar Association
2000 M ST, NW Ste 480
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 467-8717
www.victimbar.org

An affiliate of the National Center for Victims of Crime
www.VictimsOfCrime.org
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests: California

Contact CA Representatives

Step #1: Find your 9-Digit Zip Code

Step #2: Search By 9-Digit Zip Code to find contact information for your elected representative: