Marci Hamilton Legal Commentary

List of U. S. Attorneys

Making the Case: Reforming the Statute of Limitations

Investigative Reports

Philadelphia, PA Grand Jury Report - Issued in September 2005, the report accused former church officials of "burying" abuse reports and shuttling offenders from parish to parish, where some found new victims.

Suffolk County, NY Grand Jury Report - The stunning, February 2003 report of a 9-month investigation of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Massachusetts Attorney General's Report - On sexual abuse of children in the Archdiocese of Boston, released July 2003.

Maine Attorney General's Report - on allegations of sexual abuse of children in the Roman Catholic Church in Maine.



Select Stories From Across the Nation
Lawyers, Courts & Legal Issues

Statutes of Limitations
A State-by-State Survey
Note that these laws are frequently changing. Check with local officials before making any decisions regarding legal action. - Comprehensive Directory of Official Federal, State, and Local Government and Court Links

Our Request to the
US Department of Justice

Position Paper:
"Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: The Need for Federal Intervention"

Cover letter to the DOJ:
- PDF format   HTML Format

Position Paper to the Department:
-PDF format

Appendix A - "Orders Have Let Abusers Remain" (The Dallas Morning News, August 2, 2002)

Appendix B "Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: an Historical and Contempory Review, Pastoral Psychology, Vol. 45, No.4, 1997

Appendix C - The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy

Appendix D - The Archives and the Secret Archives Required by Canon Law

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Suit Reaches New Heights: the Vatican
   - Portland Oregonian, December 11, 2005

U.S. Asks Court to Dismiss Abuse Suit That Names Pope
   - Associated Press, September 21, 2005

Canon Law Newsletters Show Ongoing "Crimen Sollicitaciones" Discussions
    - By Kathy Shaw, Worcester Telegram,
     August 21, 2003

Vatican Law Instructed Secrecy in Abuse Cases
    - by Kathy Shaw, Worcester Telegram,
July 29, 2003


Abuse Victims Demand More Than a Check From the Church
   - Washington Post, February 24, 2007

Legal Legacy of Clergy Abuse Lawsuits
   - Timothy Lytton, Feb. 4, 2007

Grand Jury Harshly Criticizes Philadelphia Archdiocese for Hiding Clergy Sexual Abuse
   - Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 22, 2005

Philadelphia Grand Jury Report a Lesson for All States
   - September 22, 2005, FindLaw's Writ

List of 2005 Catholic Abuse Settlements
   - May 18, 2005

The Long and Difficult Road to Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse: How Three States Revised Their Statutes
   - Marci Hamilton,, May 19, 2005

Charges Against Clergy are Elusive
- Springfield Republican April 19, 2004

Allegations Against Catholic Bishops
     -Associated Press, March 4, 2004

Experts Say Grand Juries Unlikely to Indict Catholic Bishops Who Supervised Abusive Priests
     - By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press, June 23, 2002

The Grand Jury: A Powerful Tool
     - By Maria Panaritis
     Philadelphia Inquirer, April 25, 2002

The Case for Victims Forgoing Settlement in Favor of a Jury Trial
    - by Marci Hamilton, FindLaws Legal Commentary, July 17, 2003

Confidentiality Agreements: Price of Broken Vows
     - The New York Times, May 27, 2002

Role of Bishops Is Now a Focus of Grand Juries
     - New York Times, July 12, 2002

Abuses by Clergy Become New Focus for Prosecutors
     - The New York Times, April 5, 2002

From Arizona:

Phoenix Bishop Spared Prison Sentence for Leaving Crash Scene
- New York Times, March 27, 2004

Unsung Judges Lead Way in Priest Investigations
     By Joseph A. Reaves
     - The Arizona Republic, Feb. 23, 2003

From California:

Questions, Debate Mark San Diego Legal Process
   - Union-Tribune, April 30, 2007

Judge Rebukes San Diego Diocese
   - Union-Tribune, April 10, 2007

Diocese of San Diego Weighs Bankruptcy
   - Union-Tribune, February 19, 2007

Mahony Ordered to Release Church Records
   - LA Times, July 26, 2005

Judge Rules California Priests' Files to Remain Secret
   - Press-Democrat, October 28, 2004

An Explanation of the Clergy Abuse Cases in California
   - Associated Press, October 9, 2004

Judge Orders Mahony to Turn Over Secret Priest Files
   - LA Times, September 8, 2004

Details Revealed from Secret Los Angeles Priest Files
   - LA Times, August 1, 2004

Some Priests Suing Their Accusers
     - Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2004

Battle over Los Angeles Archdiocese documents waged out of public eye
     - Associated Press, Nov. 13, 2003

California Ruling Shifts Focus to Church Records
    - Associated Press, July 16, 2003

California Molestation Law Stuck Down
     - LA Times, June 27, 2003

Accused Calif. Priests Likely Winners in Supreme Court Ruling
     - Reuters, Thu June 26, 2003

California Diocese Sues Archdiocese of Boston Regarding Fr. Shanley Transfer
     - Associated Press, April 4, 2003

Victims Angered and Upset By Supreme Court Ruling Freeing Molesters
     - New York Times, July 12, 2003

From Florida:

Accused Miami Priests Can't Be Prosecuted
     - Miami Herald, August 27, 2003

Churches Can Be Held Liable for Sex Offenses, Says Florida High Court
     -Miami Daily Business Rev., March 15, 2002

From Illinois:

Jailed Illinois Priest Could Be Refused Release
   - Chicago Tribune, April 10, 2006

Appeals Court Rules Men Can Sue Joliet Diocese
   - Daily Herald, January 19, 2006

Appelate Court Rules Priests Records Aren't Sacred
   - Daily Herald, May 26, 2004

New Law Suspends Time Limit on Civil Suits
     - Chicago Tribune, November 2, 2003

From Kentucky:

Class Action Status Granted to Kentucky Lawsuit,
    - Kentucky Post, October 2, 2003

Kentucky Lawyer Battles Church
    - Atlanta Constitution, August 1, 2003

From Maine:

Maine AG Told to Yield Files on Dead Accused Priests
- Portland Press Herald, October 25, 2003

From Maryland:

Maryland Hospital for Priests Not Required To Report All Suspected Abuse
     - Washington Post, June 30, 2002

From Massachusetts:

MA AG Supports Legislation to End Time Limits on Sex Abuse Crimes
   - Boston Globe, March 5, 2005

Time Is Up for Statute of Limitations
   - BostonGlobe, September 29, 2004

Former Bishop Indicted, but Won't be Tried
   - Boston Globe, September 28, 2004

MA Court: Church Protected by Charitable Immunity
   - Springfield Republican, August 19, 2004

Predator Priests Hide in Plain Sight
   - Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 22, 2004

Charges Against Clergy are Elusive
   - Springfield Republican April 19, 2004

U.S. Attorney Assisting Probe of Massachusetts Bishop
- Springfield Republican, March 5, 2004

MA Lawyer Putting His Faith In Justice
     - Greenfield Recorder, January 2004

Boston Victims Agonize Over Church Settlement
    - Boston Globe, October 8, 2003

Massachusetts Judge Considers Ruling on State's Charitable Immunity Law,
    -Springfield Republican, September 25, 2003


Philadelphia, PA District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham issued a report on the grand jury investigation of child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on September 21, 2005. The grand jury excoriated the Archdiocese and its former top leaders, saying they allowed hundreds of sexual assaults against children to go unpunished. "Regrettably, the perpetrators of these crimes and the people who protected them will never face the criminal penalties that they deserve," Abramham said.

Boston Church Officials May Face Federal Charges
     - Associated Press, August 26, 2003

Judge Rules Church Suits can Proceed, Archdiocese's 1st Amendment Motion Rejected
     By Kathleen Burge, Globe Staff
     - Boston Globe, February 20, 2003

Deposing Therapists: An Abuse of the Law      - Boston Globe Editorial
       January 30, 2002

Boston Archdiocese Asks for Dismissal of All Suits
     - The New York Times, December 24, 2002

But Why Isn't Bernard Law in Jail?
     - Slate, December 19, 2002

Mass Attorney General Says Church Impedes Criminal Investigation
     - Boston Globe, December 11, 2002

Boston Archdiocese Weighs Bankruptcy Filing
     - Boston Globe, December 1, 2002

Why the Boston Grand Jury Conclusion is Wrong
    - by Marci Hamilton, FindLaws Legal Commentary, July 31, 2003

Why Weak Massachusetts Statutes Led to No Criminal Indictments
    - by Stephen Kurkjian, Boston Globe,
July 24, 2003

Supreme Court Ruling May Boost Civil Suits
     - Boston Globe, June 28, 2003

Judge: 'Canon Law Irrelevant'; Ruling Holds Boston Archdiocese to Deal
     - Boston Herald, July 13, 2002

Boston Scandal Erodes Traditional Legal Deference to Church
     - By Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe, May 12, 2002

Experts: Criminal Charges Against Cardinal Law Possible, But Unlikely
     - Associated Press, April 9, 2002

Many Priests' Cases May Be Too Old To Be Prosecuted
     By Maureen Boyle
     - Brockton, MA Enterprise, Feb. 24, 2002

Worcester, MA D.A. Answers Questions About Reporting Clergy Abuse

Boston Priest Abuse Cases Were Sealed by Judges
     - Boston Globe, February 16, 2002

From Minnesota:

From 1994: Four Sue New Ulm Diocese,
- St. Paul Pioneer Press, April 23, 1994

From Missouri:

Church Approach to Lawsuits Varies Widely
- March 7, 2005

MO Supreme Court Allows Prosecution in Old Sodomy Case
- December 21, 2004

The Skeptical Flock - St Louis Editorial
     - St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 25, 2003

From New Hampshire:

Attorney General Angry at Bishop's Remarks
-AP, May 28, 2004

New Hampshire Attorney General Seeks Evidence Bishops Protected Abusive Priests      - Union News, Sunday, June 16, 2002

From New Jersey:

Court Weakens NJ Immunity Shield For Charities
   - Associated Press, August 8, 2006

High Court in New Jersey Upholds Right to Sue School
   - New York Times, August 9, 2006

Support Given for NJ Suits Against Charities
- New York Times, November 9, 2004

Judge Allows NJ Abuse Cases to Proceed,
-New York Times, November 3, 2004

From New York:

2 Raped by New York Minister Are Awarded $11.45 Million
   - New York Times, May 19, 2007

Long Island Civil Case Goes to Trial
   - New York Times, April 16, 2007

New York Court to Rule on Time Limits in Priest Sex-Abuse Suits
- New York Times, January 3, 2006

Brooklyn Diocese Puts Lawyer in Charge of Hotline
-New York Times, August 31, 2004

Grand Jury Says New York Diocese Long Protected Abusive Priests
     Newsday, February 10, 2002

New York Grand Jury Says Church Lied To Victims of Abuse
     - The Journal News, June 19, 2002

Suffolk, NY Seeks Grand Jury to Examine Church Abuse Cases
     - By Steve Wick and Carol Eisenberg
       Newsday, April 5, 2002

Manhattan D.A. Seeks Tougher Sex Abuse Law
     - Newsday, March 21, 2002

From Ohio:

Priest Found Guilty in Murder of Nun,
   - May 12, 2006

Woman Credited for Events Leading to Gerald Robinson Trial
   - Court TV, April 27, 2006

Abuse Knows No Time Limit, Ohio House Told
   - Columbus Dispatch, November 23, 2005

Cleveland Priest Probe Hits Six States
     - Cleveland Plain Dealer
       November 23, 2002

From Oregon:

Portland Diocese Seeks Abuse Claims Deadline
- Portland Oregonian, August 20, 2004

Portland Archdiocese Filing Carries a High Price
   - Portland Oregonian, July 18, 2004

Did the Portland Diocese Declare Bankruptcy to Avoid Abuse Suits?
- by Marci Hamilton, FindLaws Legal Commentary, July 15, 2004

From Pennsylvania:

Pain, Anger Went into Philadelphia Abuse Report
- Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept, 25, 2005

Philadelphia Grand Jury: No Clergy Abuse Charges
- Philadelphia Inquirer, August 3, 2005

Philly D.A.: Did Church Put Kids at Risk?
- Philadelphia Inquirer, July 25, 2004

Grand Jury to Probe Allegations of Abuse by Philadelphia Priests
     By Christopher K. Hepp and Maria Panaritis      - Philadelphia Inquirer, April 24, 2002

From Tennessee:

As Lawsuit Looms, Diocese of Nashville Transfers Ownership of Properties
   - The Tennessean, August 21, 2005

From Texas:

DA Says Dallas Diocese Won't Be Charged
   - Dallas Morning News, June 28, 2005

Dallas Diocese Faces DA Inquiry, February 7, 2005

Sexual Abuse of Minors and Church Liability, Fr. Rudy Kos and the Diocese of Dallas

Lawyer for Church Says He Hid His Own Sexual Abuse by Priest
     By Laurie Goodstein
     - New York Times, November 25, 2003

From Washington:

Spokane Deal Allows Secrets to Remain
   - Spokesman Review, May 5, 2007

Rare Kind of Scandal Accord in Spokane Diocese
- New York Times, February 2, 2006

Diocese of Spokane Appeals Bankruptcy Ruling
- Associated Press, Sept. 7, 2005

From Wisconsin:

Widera Documents: Notice to Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Punitive Damages Ruling Against the
Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Archdiocese Faces Another Type of Lawsuit: Fraud
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 10, 2005

A Better Clergy Abuse Bill,
    -Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 21, 2003

Victims Testify on Bill to Tighten
Wisconsin Law on Abuse Cases

    - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 18, 2003


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests