FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 24, 2022
Contact: Thomas Nobile
Director of Communications
NEW BRUNSWICK – The New Jersey State Bar Association is set to argue before the state Supreme Court against the need for a Tort Claims Notice in cases that arose prior to state law which expanded the statute of limitations in sexual assault cases.
The case involves a man who alleged he was sexually assaulted by a teacher as an elementary school student in ’90s. Defendants in the case moved to dismiss, claiming that W.S. failed to file a timely notice of claim as required under the state’s Tort Claims Act.
Former NJSBA Trustee Craig J. Hubert, of Szaferman Lakind, will represent the Association’s amicus position on W.S. v. Hildreth in an oral argument scheduled for Oct. 24.
In a brief to the Court, the Association argued that protections in the state’s sweeping legislation that broadened the statute of limitations in sexual assault cases—and eliminated the tort claim requirement—should apply retroactively in W.S.’s case. Doing so would “preserve” W.S.’s cause of action, “as well as those of other victims of sexual abuse and sexual violence to whom the statute was clearly intended to apply,” according to the brief.
“To allow otherwise would expressly exclude certain victims from the benefits of the statute, a result that is not supported by the legislative history or the language of the statute,” the brief stated.
The NJSBA argued further that the legislative effect of the amendments to the Tort Claims Act was clear in that it eliminated the notice requirements of the Act. It criticized the defendant’s reading of the “overly strict adherence to the law’s technical, procedural requirements for sexual assault victims” as contradictory to the intent of the legislation to “undeniably provide…victims of sexual abuse broader rights regarding statute of limitations.”
The NJSBA acts as amicus curiae in pending cases before New Jersey and federal courts where issues are believed to affect the legal profession or the system of justice. The Association’s intervention in W.S. v. Hildreth, according to the brief, strikes at the heart of one of the organization’s principal missions: to promote equal access to the justice system for the public and fairness in its administration.
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NJSBA to make amicus appearance in Supreme Court case on sexual assault statute of limitations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: NJSBA Communications Department
Email: [email protected]