Sexual abuse; limitations period. (SB1145)

Introduced By

Sen. Fred Quayle (R-Suffolk)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Torts; sexual abuse; limitations period.  Extends the limitations period for actions for sexual abuse committed during the infancy or incapacity of the abused person from two years to 25 years from the time of the removal of the infancy or incapacity or from the time the cause of action otherwise accrues. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/12/2011Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/11 11103190D
01/12/2011Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/13/2011Assigned Courts sub: Civil
01/31/2011Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (13-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
02/01/2011Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2011Read second time
02/02/2011Reading of amendment waived
02/02/2011Committee amendment agreed to
02/02/2011Amendment by Senator Petersen ruled not in order
02/02/2011Engrossed by Senate as amended SB1145E
02/02/2011Printed as engrossed 11103190D-E
02/03/2011Read third time and passed Senate (38-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2011Reconsideration of passage agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2011Passed Senate (37-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2011Assigned Courts sub: #2 Civil
02/07/2011Placed on Calendar
02/07/2011Read first time
02/07/2011Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/21/2011Reported from Courts of Justice (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2011Read second time
02/24/2011Read third time
02/24/2011Passed House BLOCK VOTE (98-Y 0-N)
02/24/2011VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2011Reconsideration of House passage agreed to by House
02/24/2011Passed House BLOCK VOTE (99-Y 0-N)
02/24/2011VOTE: PASSAGE #2 (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/03/2011Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB1145ER)
03/03/2011Signed by Speaker
03/06/2011Signed by President
03/26/2011G Approved by Governor-Chapter 641 (effective 7/1/11)
03/26/2011G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0641)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 3 clips in all, totaling 33 minutes.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB1476.


Mary writes:

So even if a crime was never claimed , no charges were ever filed and there is no past conviction ANY ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, ANY one night stand or ANYONE you danced too closely with or kissed in a bar 5, 10, 15, 20 or 24 years ago can now sue you for everything you have. Heck a total stranger could probably make a claim from 10, 15, 20 years ago and the burden of proof will fall on the accused instead of on the accuser. Another statute of limitations goes down in flames. If you've recently become successful or financially secure watch out! This bill is an ambulance-chasers dream.

Mary writes:

The RSOL of Virginia has contacted Delegate Albo’s office about HB1476 to inquire what inspired the bill and why this statute has medical malpractice mentioned.
The Delegate stated that other states have similar laws and he doesn’t know why medical malpractice is mentioned in the current statute.
Hey, mom always said just because everyone else is doing doesn't mean you should too.

stephen writes:

I agree with Mary, this bill will bring the nuts out of the wood work. I also have to wonder why at a time when people are out of work everywhere, this clown isn't working on job bills instead. He must have alot of money.

Doug Smith writes:

We shouldn't deny victims of child sexual abuse access to the courts.

Bob writes:

There already exists a current and good law that amply provides victims access to the courts.

Anything past two years, then evidence supporting both the victim and accused becomes skewed or unachievable. Other than DNA, I see extending the statue to 25 years as preposterous and certainly usurp any due process. Unless it is the intent of the sponsor of this legislation to demonstrate anyone accused will have an impossible task to prove their innocence and any opportunity to defend themselves.

The way this new statue will work is an accused is considered guilty until proven innocent.
I’m all for justice, but I am wrestling with the logic of this bill to extend it unreasonably far out. It further opens a broad spectrum for false accusations that would be incredibly hard to prove innocence 25 years out.

I covet due process for both the victim and the accused. In fact the so called accused could be the victim of this proposed law. Texas has been a good example of incarcerating numerous men for years only to find out their innocence. Virginia is better served to leave the statue is currently written instead of trying to prove a point of being tuff on sex offenders.

Mary writes:

One of our other questions to Delegate Albo last week was, what is the State of Virginia's definition of infancy and incapacitation since his bill stated exactly those terms, he did not answer us.
We wondered if it meant anyone under the age of 18 years old but since the patron of the bill would NOT answer our inquiry we had to believe HB1476 would apply to anyone of any age.
Today the House Courts of Justice Civil Sub-Committee heard HB1476. The sub-committee immediately advise Delegate Albo that to go from 2 years to 25 years was excessive and would be extremely difficult when defending someone since witnesses and evidence would be no where to be found. So the first thing the sub-committee did was amend this bill to be an increase to 8 years instead of 25 years.
As we listened to the debate it sounded like HB1476 would only apply when the abuse occurred to someone less than 18 years old. So the RSOL of Virginia stood up when the committee asked for opposition and we stated first we have a question and we asked if this bill only applies to minors or would it apply to anyone, the members of the sub-committee all said, "Minors". We then said, "if that is the case we do not oppose this bill especially since the timeframe has been reduced from the proposed 25 years to 8 years, much more reasonable".
So in summary we are no longer monitoring HB1476 as it will not affect anyone of any age, so the threat of extremely frivolous lawsuits is no longer an issue. If Delegate Albo had just answered our inquiry last week, we could have all been spared the time lost on this bill.

Naomi writes:

When a nine year old girl is taken out of her Godparents house after it is discovered her God father has been sexually abusing and assulting her most of her life; no, she doesn't want to talk about it. In fact it took me more than twenty years of therapy before I could even begin to think about going puplic. It is too late for me, but I hope we can protect the futures me's out there.
One last thing. Make no mistake, anyone can sue you for anything. Doesn't mean they will win, and you can always counter for legal expenses, pain and suffering, etc.

Mary writes:

File a criminal case then. There is no statute of limitations on criminal cases.Those can be filed for 100 years.
Civil cases are all about money. Not stopping further abuse, not locking an abuser away so a victim feels safer and certainly not about healing.

Rickey Moore writes:

I agree with Mary, this seems to be some ambulance chaser's dream. If I were a major business looking to locate here, this bill would certainly change my mind, especially if I had deep pockets financially. Anyone could jump up, claim I did it, split the massive judgment with the lawyer after, all just on a say so. Wow! That is messed up.

Meanwhile, across the state line in North Carolina, Governor Perdue is working hard there on rehabilitation efforts and removing the bars to re-entry. It's strange to witness the difference in the collective state's political mindsets. Ric

Rickey Moore writes:

Naomi, I'm sorry to hear of your abuse. My remarks are not aimed to disparage the real victims of abuse, of any kind. The bill itself is wide open to potential abuse by the merely greedy and opportunistic. So, we can spot the opportunities ripe for an abuser to abuse. We're on the same page that you should be given justice. I pray you come to a healing and that you have a good therapist who will guide you through the emotional damage done to you. Be aware that there is a thin line between the abused and becoming the abuser. Usually it's from being the abused that one becomes an abuser, in my opinion. Your therapist will guide you through that. We're together with you that we don't want any future "you's" too. The goal, we both share, is "No More Victims". Again, I am sorry for what happened to you, pray you find a measure of peace and that some life-purpose comes to you from your experience. I suggest Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning" for reading, towards that goal. It helped me.

Rickey Moore writes:

Doug, currently there is no denial by the courts for abuse victims to get justice. This bill is not about remedying some shortfall in the criminal Justice system. This bill is about civil remedies, not criminal remedies (torts). How would you like for someone to come up and point the finger at you, 20 years after the alleged abuse, with practically a zero chance of you finding witnesses, remembering exact dates and times, or even if you knew this person at all?? And, the way things are now regarding sexual abuse, they merely have to point the finger at you to win. That could be a potential lifetime meal ticket for someone willing to do just that. It was reported in the local paper how newly graduated attorneys were having a rough time of it. This bill would fix that, short order. Doug, just follow the dotted lines. Remember OJ. He was found innocent in a criminal court, by a judge and a jury, only to be found guilty in a civil court. We're on the fast track to losing all credibility in our criminal justice system, as it is. Especially with Virgina's propensity to violate "ex-post-facto" Federal, as well as State, Constitutional rules.