The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 12: Court Procedure

Chapter 23: LIMITATION OF TIME FOR COMMENCEMENT OF ACTIONS

Sub-Chapter 02: Actions Limited

12 V.S.A. § 522. Actions based on childhood sexual abuse



§ 522. Actions based on childhood sexual abuse

(a) A civil action brought by any person for recovery of damages for injury suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse shall be commenced within six years of the act alleged to have caused the injury or condition, or six years of the time the victim discovered that the injury or condition was caused by that act, whichever period expires later. The victim need not establish which act in a series of continuing sexual abuse or exploitation incidents caused the injury.

(b) If a complaint is filed alleging an act of childhood sexual abuse which occurred more than six years prior to the date the action is commenced, the complaint shall immediately be sealed by the clerk of the court. The complaint shall remain sealed until the answer is served or, if the defendant files a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure, until the court rules on that motion. If the complaint is dismissed, the complaint and any related papers or pleadings shall remain sealed. Any hearing held in connection with the motion to dismiss shall be in camera.

(c) As used in this section, "childhood sexual abuse" means any act committed by the defendant against a complainant who was less than 18 years of age at the time of the act and which act would have constituted a violation of a statute prohibiting lewd and lascivious conduct, lewd or lascivious conduct with a child, sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault in effect at the time the act was committed. (Added 1989, No. 292 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)