SB 131 - Legislative Alert
April 22, 2013
SB 131 – OPPOSE
SB 131 would retroactively eliminate the civil statute of limitations against private schools and private employers in claims involving childhood sexual abuse. The bill is being vigorously opposed by the California Association of Private School Organizations (CAPSO). Seventh-day Adventist schools are affiliated with CAPSO.
SB 131 discriminates against the overwhelming majority of sex abuse victims, discriminates against private employers, breaks faith with previous legislative efforts to change the statute of limitations and does nothing to prevent abuse, enhance criminal penalties or extend the criminal statute of limitations against actual perpetrators of abuse.
SB 131 discriminates against victims, because it only covers incidents of abuse that may have taken place in private schools, not public schools, so the 92 percent of California children who attend public schools aren’t covered.
SB 131 discriminates against private schools by forcing them to deal with an unworkable legal and business climate where they face unknown liability of an unknown duration under conditions where the passage of time--30, 40 or 50 years or more--make mounting an effective defense next to impossible.
SB 131 breaks faith with assurances given by the Legislature 10 years ago when it enacted SB 1779 (Burton), a one-time, one-year lifting of the statute of limitations for all of 2003 that allowed any victim of sexual abuse—regardless of how long ago it occurred—a second chance to file a lawsuit. Under the circumstances, reviving claims a second time may have been understandable, but SB 131 would revive claims for an unheard of third time, and only against private schools and private employers like us.
Finally, SB 131 fails both victims and private schools by ignoring the actual perpetrators of sex abuse, and doing nothing to strengthen criminal penalties against abusers or extend the criminal statute of limitations.
Please take time to contact the Judiciary Committee member and tell them why you oppose this bill.
Judiciary Committee Members:
Senator Joel Anderson 916-651-4036 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Ellen Corbett 916-651-4010 email@example.com
Senator Noreen Evans 916-651-4002 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson 916-651-4019 email@example.com
Senator Mark Leno 916-651-4011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator William Monning 916-651-4017 email@example.com