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Connecticut Statute of Limitations
for Child Sexual Abuse (Law Suits for Damages)
 


 

 

       by Susan K. Smith, Atty and Victim Advocate

Connecticut* allows suits to be filed for civil damages arising out of childhood sexual abuse within 30 years from the date a victim reaches the "age of majority." This means that generally a victim has until the day before his or her 48th birthday to file suit. (Victims must, however, contact an attorney long before that deadline in order to have a suit properly prepared.) Connecticut, unlike a number of other states, does not require a victim to prove that he or she suffered repressed memory or some other disability to qualify for the extended  period.

Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-577d:

LIMITATION OF ACTION FOR DAMAGES TO MINOR CAUSED BY SEXUAL ABUSE, EXPLOITATION OR ASSAULT.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 52-577, no action to recover damages for personal injury to a minor, including emotional distress, caused by sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or sexual assault may be brought by such person later than thirty (30) years from the date such person attains the age of majority (18).

Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-577e:

There is no statute of limitations for suits against abusers who have been convicted of sexual assault in the 1st degree.

Commentary:

Connecticut victims can bring civil actions for injuries arising from childhood sexual abuse suffered until the day before their 48th birthday.

The question of whether the statute should be applied retroactively was answered in the affirmative by the Connecticut Supreme Court in Roberts v. Caton, 224 Conn. 483, 619 A.2d 844 (1993).  

In Giordano v. Giordano, 39 Conn. App. 183 (1995), the appellate court held that the statute does not violate either due process or equal protection. The Giordano court also held that latches is not a valid defense to a claim of sexual abuse brought within the statute of limitations.

Connecticut trial courts universally apply the special statute of limitations to non-perpetrators following the Federal District Court's decision in Almonte v. New York Medical College, 851 F. Supp. 34 (D. Conn. 1994) (Nevas, J.).

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* If you are looking for the Statute of Limitations in states other than Connecticut,
you can find information at http://www.sol-reform.com/Pages/WhatIsSOL.html.

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Susan K. Smith
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The Fine Print: This web site provides general information only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Laws change  and differ from State to State. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should consult an attorney about your particular situation.

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