Can I file a lawsuit against my abusive father for restitution?
Can I sue my father for restitution for sexually and emotionally abusing me from the age of 3 until I was 18? I testified and put him in prison. I am now 32 years old and I'm told that he is supposed to get out of prison next year. Is it too late to sue him for restitution for the abuse?
The abuse happened in Oklahoma, but I live in Colorado now.
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ANSWER for "Can I file a lawsuit against my abusive father for restitution?":
The Statute of Limitations in Oklahoma, for compensation sought by a victim of child sexual abuse against an abuser, is set out under Oklahoma Statute Title 12 Section 95 (6) (a) (b) which reads in part as follows:
"...6. An action based on intentional conduct brought by any person for recovery of damages for injury suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse incidents or exploitation as defined by Section 1-1-105 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes or incest can only be brought within the latter of the following periods:
a. within two (2) years of the act alleged to have caused the injury or condition,
b. within two (2) years of the time the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered that the injury or condition was caused by the act or that the act caused the injury for which the claim is brought.
Provided, however, that the time limit for commencement of an action pursuant to this paragraph is tolled for a child until the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years or until five (5) years after the perpetrator is released from the custody of a state, federal or local correctional facility or jail, whichever is later."
Oklahoma Statutes Title 12 Section 95
In this case, because the child sexual abuse began and ended in the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Law controls. From the facts you present, you may have leeway to file a claim under Section 6(b), being that the perpetrator has not yet been released from prison. This would also depend on when he was incarcerated.
You must speak with an attorney to pursue a case like this. There are too many legal issues involved for you to handle a case like this on your own.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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