Washington D.C., May 2, 2022 / 16:34 pm
California Catholic bishops are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a case challenging the state for permitting victims of childhood sexual abuse to file claims again, after the timeframe for them to pursue legal action has expired twice.
Nine California Catholic dioceses and archdioceses filed a petition for writ of certiorari, or a petition to review a lower court’s decision, in the case — Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland v. Superior Court of California for Los Angeles — on April 15.
The petition outlines their two main concerns: That recent California legislation allows claimants to come forward after the timeframe to do so has expired twice, and it allows claims that impose new punishment not considered the last time.
“This time, defendants' past conduct is subject not only to claims for compensatory and punitive damages that were previously time-barred twice over, but also to additional penalties (in the form of ‘treble’ damages) based on a newly defined category of ‘cover up’ activity,” the petition reads.