Yes, there is a statute of limitations on clergy abuse in the state of Michigan. This rule is called the three-year discovery rule. This means that generally, the statute of limitations on clergy abuse in Michigan is three years from the date the abuse first occurred.
However, if you have experienced first-degree criminal sexual conduct from clergy members, then the statute of limitations doesn’t apply. This means that there is no time frame in which you need to file a claim. First-degree sexual abuse in Michigan is defined as the pure acts of sexual abuse with a victim under the age of 13 years old.
In this article, we will go over the statute of limitations laws in Michigan and how skilled clergy sexual abuse lawyers can be of assistance to you and your case.
Clergy Abuse Laws in Michigan
In 2018, the state of Michigan changed the statute of limitations for clergy sexual abuse cases. Ultimately, they have raised the age of the victim to 28. Simply put, this means that if you are under the age of 28, there is no statute of limitations to file a claim if you were sexually abused.
But, with this rule, it’s essential to be 28, or under this given age. Meaning when you are older than 28, you will have to abide by the normal statute of limitations law and file a claim within three years from the date of abuse.
Second-degree criminal sexual conduct is also considered a grave crime in the state of Michigan. Second-degree sexual conduct is unwanted sexual touching of a minor or if force was used to attempt to commit any sexual acts on someone who is 13 or younger.
Statute of Limitations in Clergy Sexual Abuse Exceptions
If you take the Michigan statute of limitations for face value, it seems as though it’s a strict time limit. However, we are here to tell you that there have been expectations made in the past for cases involving clergy sexual abuse.
Some of the following cases in other states have challenged this time limit:
- Arizona: In 2019, the state began a 19-month revival window, which took previously closed clergy sexual abuse cases and re-opened them. This way, re-opening these expired cases allowed victims to gain the justice they deserved and file claims against their abuser.
- California: Similarly, in 2019, California revised its original statute of limitations bill to make it easier for childhood victims to file claims against their attackers. Additionally, this state now allows those aged up to 40 years old to file a claim.
- Louisiana: In 2021, Louisiana totally eliminated its statute of limitations for clergy sexual abuse cases. This way, victims can always press charges against those who have abused them.
- Arkansas: More recently, Arkansas has extended its statute of limitations for these kinds of cases, allowing individuals up to the age of 55 to file claims against their abusers. By making this exception, victims, no matter their age, can challenge those who committed wrongdoings.
These are only a few examples of all the exceptions that states palace on the statute of limitations for clergy sexual abuse. And, if these states have exceptions, there is no reason why we couldn’t fight for exceptions on your behalf.
For a free legal consultation, call (517) 316-1195
How do We Help Victims Once the Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations Has Passed?
We understand that victims of clergy sexual abuse may not know their rights or what steps they can take to hold their abusers accountable for their actions. Luckily, we are here to help. Michigan offers countless resources for those that are unfortunate victims of sexual abuse. For instance, the following resources can be utilized for a victim’s road to recovery:
- Sexual abuse hotlines
- Various health checks for after your abuse
- Support groups
- Legal assistance
Additionally, we don’t take clergy sexual abuse lightly. And the time frame on cases like these is just that, a time frame. We understand that when it comes to cases like this, justice can always be served, so we will work hard in your favor no matter what guidelines are in place.
Similar to that of other states fully eliminating the statute of limitations for clergy sexual abuse cases or seeing other states push back the time limit goes to show that there is always a push for victims to file a claim for the abuse they sustained. With our help, we will never stop you from filing a claim if you have been through this type of abuse. Or any sexual abuse for that matter.
What Is Considered Clergy Sexual Abuse in Michigan?
It’s no secret that as of recently, spikes in sexual abuse cases have become apparent in religious institutions. Unfortunately, clergy sexual abuse cases are on the rise, and many are left with no answers or nowhere to turn. We are here to tell you that no matter the sexual abuse you have sustained, White Law PLLC is here to help.
Some of the common types of clergy sexual abuse that we see include the following:
- Sexually unwanted conversations
- Uninvited touching
- Sending sexual images or texts
- Any sexual activity
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Reach Out to Our Trusted Team Today
Don’t let a time limit on clergy sexual abuse cases keep you from seeking the justice and peace you deserve. No matter the details of your case and abuse, we are always ready to fight on your behalf. Contact us today if you have any questions about the services we provide or if you are interested in a free case evaluation.