Minnesota: How Long Do Abuse Survivors Have to Seek Justice?

Claims Bar Deadline vs. “Window” Legislation Deadline for Abuse Claims

By Attorney Craig Vernon 

Question:  What does the Aug. 3, 2015 deadline to file a sex-abuse claim in the bankruptcy case against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis mean in light of the May 2016 deadline set by the Minnesota Legislature? What date controls? Do I have until next spring to bring a claim or do I have to come forward before August 3, 2015?

Answer: The short answer is it depends on whether your claim is against the Archdiocese or some other Diocese or entity/perpetrator.

It is critical that survivors understand that they only have until Aug. 3, 2015 to file a claim against the Archdiocese. This is because of the ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel, within the Archdiocese bankruptcy. If your claim is against another diocese within Minnesota, such the Diocese of New Ulm, for example, you have until May of 2016 to file a claim. This May 2016 deadline also applies if your case is against a secular organization or against a religious entity that’s not Catholic.

So, the Aug. 3rd deadline applies only to claims against the Archdiocese where federal bankruptcy law controls. At this time, all other claims are controlled by the “window legislation,” which is a Minnesota state law that has established the May 2016 deadline.

With deadlines fast approaching, we’re doing our best to reach out to those still weighing a decision to come forward and seek justice.  This can be complicated, but we’re here to help survivors through the legal maze. Now is the time to contact an attorney if you’re contemplating filing a claim or a case.

Here is where you can find the form to a claim in the Archdiocese bankruptcy case:


Lee James, Craig Vernon and Pat Noaker are veteran sex-abuse attorneys who successfully have represented hundreds of victims across the country. They teamed up to help child sexual-abuse survivors under Minnesota’s new law allowing victims previously barred by statutes of limitation to bring forth claims and hold institutions accountable. They have pooled their resources, experience and legal staffs to take on powerful institutions, believing they could do more together than they could as individual attorneys.


Lee James: (208) 667-0683, ljames@jvwlaw.net

Craig Vernon: (208) 667-0683, cvernon@jvwlaw.net

Pat Noaker: (612) 839-1080, patrick@noakerlaw.com

Minnesota Victims’ Attorneys web site: http://www.clergyabuseinminnesota.com

Share this post