If someone abuse a child bye hiting them and neglecting them what is the status of limitation in mass
12 years ago stuff happen when a kid was being hit and punch at 9 years old and made not to eat or drink and chain to a bed what is the status of limitation in the state of massachusetts
2 attorney answers
First things first, I am so sorry to hear that you endured these difficult incidents. I am happy that you are beginning to seek legal answers and have no doubt that you will finds assistance (both criminal and civil) in the Massachusetts legal community. There are many resources available to you as you begin to pursue justice.
From a civil perspective (civil, tort based claims filed to recover money damages against the perpetrators or those responsible for their supervision), the answer to your question depends on many variables including, but not limited to, how old you were when these incidents occurred, your current age, the identity of the perpetrator(s) and your relationship to them, the extent and type of the allegations, the environment in which this harm occurred, and how long you have been aware of the harm caused by these actions.
Generally, the statute of limitations for civil tort claims in Massachusetts is 3 years. If you were a minor at the time you were harmed, this three-year statute of limitations would not begin to run until your 18th birthday. However, under the “discovery rule,” the statute of limitations could begin to run on the date after your 18th birthday when you knew or should have known that you were harmed. That is a fact intensive inquiry that you should explore with a lawyer. I note, however, that you labeled your question as one also involving sexual crimes committed against you. In this instance, your statute of limitations to assert civil claims against the individual perpetrators arising out of those incidents occurring when you were a minor would be extended to the later of either 35 full years from your 18th birthday (or 7 full years from the date after your 18th birthday when you knew or should have known that you were harmed). It appears from your question that these incidents occurred in 2005. If you were in a group home or some other setting wherein other people were responsible for supervising the perpetrators, then claims against that entity, or those supervisory employees, would be extended to 7 full years from the date after your 18th birthday when you knew or should have known that you were harmed.
You deserve help and a good lawyer to explore all of these options with. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Massachusetts and ask for a free consultation to explore your civil options.
As for your criminal statute of limitations, I fully expect that a criminal practitioner here on the forum will address that for you but, if not, you should contact the District Attorney’s Office and/or the local police department in the town or city where these incidents occurred immediately. On that front, my strong suggestion is to worry less about the technicalities of whether the criminal statute of limitations has run, and more on making the report and then on allowing the criminal process to fully and completely address your questions.
Finally, there are also many legal aid agencies in Massachusetts that can help you on a no-fee basis as a survivor of these incidents with things like abuse prevention orders against the perpetrators if you need such things. Most any lawyer you contact can you help put you in touch with these agencies.
Disclaimer: The answer to this question is informational only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
For assault and battery, this is a criminal matter, so you should let the DA worry about whether there is a criminal statute of limitations. The criminal statute of limitations is 6 years, but depending on the type of abuse this clock can start from when the victim turns 16 or when the abuse is reported, whichever is first. You can call and make a police report about the incidents and the cops and the DA will investigate and determine if charges are warranted, or possible, from a criminal perspective.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.