Arizona Extends the Time Period to Sue for Child Sexual Abuse Claims
In Arizona, victims of assault or abuse generally have two years from when they were abused to file a lawsuit. For child victims of assault or abuse, this two-year period starts when they turn 18 years old, so they have until their 20th birthday to make a claim.
Before 2019, this two-year deadline also applied to claims of child sexual abuse and child molestation. But in response to the #MeToo movement and in acknowledgment that victims of child sexual abuse often are not able to understand and process what happened to them until years or even decades later, Arizona recently changed the law governing the time to file child sexual abuse claims. In the 2019 Session, the Arizona Legislature passed HB 2466, which significantly increased that time limit. Victims of child sexual abuse—sexual abuse, rape, or molestation that occurred before the victim turned 18—now have until their 30th birthday to bring a claim. See A.R.S. § 12-514.
The Legislature also opened a new window for older victims to file claims. Between May 27, 2019, and December 31, 2020, victims of child sexual abuse who are older than 30 years old can file a lawsuit against their abusers or any person or entity that enabled the abuse or failed to report the abuse. See HB 2466, § 3(B).
If you or a loved one was the victim of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation before the age of 18, you now have until your 30th birthday to file suit. And even if the victim of child sexual abuse is now over the age of 30, they have a limited time before the end of 2020 to file a lawsuit. Gallagher & Kennedy’s sexual assault attorneys have a long track record of representing the victims of child molestation and holding their abusers and the enablers of their abusers accountable for the harm they have caused.
If you would like to talk to a Phoenix sexual assault attorney at Gallagher & Kennedy about your potential child sexual abuse claim today, please give us a call at (602) 530-8400.