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Judge Sets Deadline for Sexual Abuse Claims Against Baltimore Archdiocese

A federal bankruptcy judge started the clock on Monday for sexual abuse survivors seeking damages from the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, setting a date of May 31, 2024, for claims to be filed, Michelle Boorstein reports for the Washington Post. The archdiocese is now mandated by the court to widely advertise the deadline, after which civil sexual abuse claims against it will be permanently barred.

The deadline is a compromise between the Feb. 26 date the archdiocese requested and the June 1 date proposed by the survivors, who are represented by a “creditors committee” — a group of seven survivors selected to represent what are expected to be hundreds of others with abuse claims. In April, the Maryland legislature passed a landmark law called the Child Victims Act, which repealed the statute of limitations and permits survivors of child abuse to file civil lawsuits at any time. The law took effect on Oct. 1, but just a couple of days before, the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy, which halts most civil claims while the organization reorganizes its finances and debts in court. The setting of a months-long filing deadline — called a “bar date” in bankruptcy cases — is a dramatic twist for survivors.

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