Let the courts decide, vote, YES, on SB134 The Hidden Predator Act!
Dear [title] [last name],
The time is NOW! Let the courts decide what only they have authority to decide and pass SB134.
The following twenty-four jurisdictions have held that a retroactive procedural change in law, like revival of a civil SOL, is constitutional: Arizona, California*, Connecticut*, Delaware*, Georgia*, Hawaii*, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts*, Michigan, Minnesota*, Montana*, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York*, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, Washington D.C.*6, West Virginia, Wyoming. (An asterisk indicates that the state has revived expired civil SOLs for child sex abuse. The trend in recent cases is to find window legislation constitutional.)
We respectfully urge you to vote YES on SB134, Civil Actions – Child Sexual Abuse – Definition and Statute of Limitations also known as The Hidden Predator Act of 2021.
During Tuesday’s hearing the opposition shared many misleading pieces of information in their attempt to dissuade members of the committee to vote in support of this legislation all while failing to address what SB134 really does – protect children from the heinous crime of sexual abuse by exposing predators and provides survivors with the chance to have justice served against the individuals and institutions that protected these predators.
The Hidden Predator Act was developed to provide justice and healing for survivors, to shift the enormous costs of child sexual abuse from survivors and taxpayers to the perpetrators and institutions who caused the harm, and to prevent child sexual abuse by:
· Eliminating the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claims going forward (for claims arising October 1, 2021 or later)
· Creating a lookback window for those victims who have been previously barred by the statute of limitations, allowing them to file suit for a period of two years (any such claims must be filed by October 1, 2023).
· Removing the so called “statute of repose” to make it clear to the courts, the public and survivors that the Maryland General Assembly was unaware of the constitutional implications of a “statute of repose” (language offered behind the scenes by the Maryland Catholic Conference) and did not intend to vest constitutionally protected property rights in child sexual predators nor the individuals and organizations that hid predators from discovery and prosecution, allowing them to continue to victimize children.
Will you please help protect these children from sexual abuse and be a voice for survivors?
The time is NOW to do what is right and to vote YES on SB134.