If you’re taking legal action against someone who sexually abused you, you might want to know if the defendant will have access to your personal information during your sex abuse lawsuit. This is a valid concern, as the defendant could use your information to harass or retaliate against you for holding them accountable for their actions.
At White Law PLLC, we understand the importance of protecting plaintiffs in cases like yours. That’s why our sex abuse lawyers are here to answer any questions you have about how your personal information will be handled during a trial.
Laws That Protect Your Privacy During a Sex Abuse Trial
Giving the defendant access to your personal information during a sex abuse suit can have negative consequences. That’s why the state of Michigan has laws that protect your privacy during such a trial. Specifically, Michigan Victims Rights Laws § 780.758 provides a number of protections that can prevent the defendant from getting ahold of your personal information.
According to the law, if you’re worried that the victim will intimidate or physically threaten you for taking legal action against them, your attorney may request that you refrain from attending the pre-trial and trial to prevent the defendant from accessing your:
- Home address
- Place of employment
- Other personal details
This law also allows you to refrain from including the following information in the court file or other court documents:
- Home address
- Work address
- Work phone number
- Personal phone number
However, if the abuse you experienced took place at your current home or place of work, those details may need to be included in some court documents in order to identify the location of the crime.
Michigan law also has protections that prevent the defendant in your sex abuse lawsuit from accessing your personal details by requesting them under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This provision bars the defendant from requesting the following information:
- Your home address, home telephone number, work address, and work telephone number
- A picture, photograph, drawing, film, videotape, or digitally stored image that depicts you
If you were under the age of 18 when the sexual abuse occurred, state law also prevents the defendant from requesting your:
- Name and address of family members and relatives who share your last name
- Any other information that would reveal your identity
Your Fight Is Our Fight
An Attorney Can Help You Use Michigan Law to Protect Your Information
While these provisions can help you keep your personal information private during a sex abuse suit, they can sometimes be difficult to understand and even more challenging to use to your advantage. Fortunately, an experienced sex abuse attorney can answer any questions you have about these laws.
If you choose to keep your personal information from the defendant, your lawyer can also request that you be allowed to refrain from attending the pre-trial and trial.
Filing a Sex Abuse Claim Under a Pseudonym
Another way to prevent the defendant from accessing your personal information is to file a sex abuse claim under a pseudonym. An attorney can help you create a false name to file under so the defendant won’t be able to identify and/or retaliate against you. Possible pseudonyms include, but aren’t limited to:
- John Doe
- Jane Doe
- Your first and last initials
If you think that using a pseudonym is the right choice for your case, you’ll need to use one from the very start of your claim. If you file a claim using your real name and then request to switch to a pseudonym later on, the court may refuse your request.
In some cases, filing under a pseudonym may only protect your identity from the public. If you aren’t able to prevent the defendant from accessing your name by using a pseudonym, an attorney can help you explore other options that can help you protect your personal information.
We understand that you may be going through a difficult situation and we are ready to help however we can.
Other Ways a Sex Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
In addition to protecting your personal information from the defendant, a sex abuse attorney can provide a number of other valuable legal services. Here’s what they can do to ensure your lawsuit goes as smoothly as possible:
- Provide a free initial consultation
- Answer any questions you have throughout the legal process
- Offer valuable legal advice
- Conduct an investigation and collect evidence
- Build a strong sex abuse suit on your behalf
- Calculate how much compensation you’re owed
- Represent you in court
- Fight for the verdict you need to move forward with your life
A sex abuse lawyer can see your case through from start to finish. They can help you understand your state’s statute of limitations for sex abuse lawsuits and do their best to get your suit filed within the appropriate time frame.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
A statute of limitations is essentially a deadline that your sex abuse suit must be filed before. If your suit isn’t filed in time, you could be barred from getting the justice and compensation you deserve. An attorney can let you know how long you have to file a sex abuse suit in your state. That said, your state’s statute of limitations could change in the near future.
Many states are starting to extend the statute of limitations for sex abuse suits. If you’ve been unable to take legal action against your abuser in the past due to your state’s filing deadline, changes to state law could allow you to move forward with a claim.
The team at White Law PLLC hopes that these changes will allow you to step forward and make your voice heard.
Reach Out to a Compassionate Sex Abuse Lawyer Today
At White Law PLLC, our team understands how delicate sex abuse cases can be. That’s why we’re willing to do everything we can to prevent the defendant from accessing your personal information during your sex abuse lawsuit. We’ll also provide the compassionate counsel you need to feel comfortable and supported throughout your case.
Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced sex abuse attorney. They’ll meet with you to discuss your case and answer any questions you have. If they agree to help you take legal action, they’ll work tirelessly to get the results you need to further your healing process and hold your abuser responsible for the pain they’ve caused.
We’re Experienced. We Care.
We Exceed Client Expectations.