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Deadline for Independent Victim Compensation Program for Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey Has Been Extended

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

The administrators of the Independent Victim Compensation Program (ICP) for New Jersey’s five Catholic dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Newark, has been extended to January 31, 2020 and to Feb. 15, 2020 for the submission of all claims.

The IVCP is an alternative resolution process whereby the survivor of Catholic priest abuse foregoes his/her right to file a lawsuit in order to attempt to reach a settlement with the diocese or archdiocese that employed the priest abuser.

However, survivors of priest sexual abuse (not limited to childhood sexual abuse) have the option of bringing their claims to civil court since the state opened its statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases for two years commencing December 1, 2019.

For New Jersey Survivors of Abuse

Since New Jersey survivors of Catholic priest abuse have options, it is imperative that they consult an experienced sexual abuse attorney immediately to discuss these options in order to choose the best plan of action.

The Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP Firm has vast experience in defending the rights of sexual abuse survivors in New Jersey as well as New York. We represent a number of survivors in New York State as well as those who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.

While New Jersey’s IVCP offers a potentially quicker process for the resolution of claims, it is not suited for everyone. That’s why it’s very important to speak with one of our attorneys as soon as possible.

Unlike many other types of personal injury cases, sexual abuse cases are unique and no two cases are alike. We are experienced in handling abuse cases involving diocesan priests as well as priests and brothers from religious orders.

A History of Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

Thus far, 188 Catholic priests have been listed as credibly accused of sexual abuse. The Archdiocese of Newark alone has identified 63 priest abusers. Of course, the most infamous name is Cardinal Theodore McCarrick who served as the bishop of Metuchen and then Archbishop of Newark.

The Newark Archdiocese said on its website that it included McCarrick on its list based on allegations that he sexually abused a teenager nearly 50 years ago, when he was a priest in New York. McCarrick has been laicized (defrocked) and lives in seclusion, reportedly in the Jacksonville, Florida area. Allegations against McCarrick surfaced around the same time of the publication of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report which renewed the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis. McCarrick’s high profile in the United States and the Vatican made him the most infamous of those New Jersey priests named as sexual abusers.

New Jersey’s attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, noted in a statement that the lists were made public in response to the creation by his office last year of a statewide task force to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members in Catholic dioceses across the state.

“I am pleased to see that our task force’s grand jury investigation has prompted the dioceses to finally take some measures to hold predator priests accountable,” he wrote. “While this is a positive first step towards transparency and accountability, I hope this spirit of openness continues during the course of our ongoing investigation and in response to our requests for records and information.”

He wrote that the task force tip line has received hundreds of calls, indicating that the full scope of the problem has not yet been revealed.

If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a Catholic priest in the state of New York or New Jersey, please call us immediately. We are here to help you and will maintain the strictest confidence in what you relate to us.

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