The End of Reason and Sanity “For the Children”
Editors note: This is a repost of a story that David Van posted on Sooner Politics on Facebook. After speaking to Kevin McDugal this afternoon he is likely to offer an amendment for his bill tomorrow as while we know that Kevin’s heart is in the right place this bill would cause a lot of unintended consequences. Current statutes already allow up to 12 years statute of limitations for such cases and even unlimited time if there is DNA evidence.
Representatives Kevin McDugle and Carol Bush along with Sen. David Holt, have two bills nearing a floor vote, this week.(HB1468, HB1470) They are a lawyer's dream. The two freshmen legislators teamed up to provide a proposed statute giving lawyers and plaintiffs up to 40+ years to file a lawsuit claiming, among other things, certain emotional damages suffered in childhood.
The intention was to give children who suffer sexual abuse a longer period of time to file claims, both criminal complaints and civil damages.
One of the longest spans is for claims including indecent proposals. Two freshmen legislators are seeking to raise that span to perhaps 40 years. I have serious concerns for what this could do to exploit elderly defendants and where facts can no longer be certified, leading to a miscarriage of justice.
This can be devastating for organizations trying to recruit volunteer leaders. The Boy Scouts already have the strictest standards and have a desperate time getting dads to volunteer.
I doubt that I would want to subject myself to this 40-year time bomb.
Sadly, though, this bill would be a retroactive open season on the elderly who have no way of assembling a defense to some thrapist-assisted "memory" from countless mentally unstable people who may just be looking for a cash-cow and waiting until an older adult has stockpiled a full retirement nest egg.
The two bills are the product of Carol Bush (a left-leaning freshman who was recruited by notable Tulsa Democrats) And Kevin McDugle (who owns Lawyer Marketing Services Inc., in Broken Arrow).
Claims of Indecent Proposal involving a child currently has a 12 yrs. extended statute of Limitation. HB1468 would extend it until the plaintiff's 45th birthday. That might be 40 years after a kindergartener remembers that the event supposedly happened.
Here's an overview of the Civil Statute Of Limitations:
Injury to Person 2 yrs. Tit. 12 §95
Defamation (Libel/Slander) 1 yr. Tit. 12 §95
Fraud 2 yrs. Tit. 12 §95
Injury to Personal Property 2 yrs. Tit. 12 §95
Professional Malpractice 2 yrs. Tit. 12 §95
Trespass 2 yrs. Tit. 12 §95
Collection of Rents 5 yrs. Tit. 12 §95
Contracts Written: 5 yrs.; Oral: 3 yrs. Tit. 12§95;Tit.12 §95
Collection of Debt on Account 5 yrs. Tit. 12 §95
Judgments 3 yrs. foreign judgment Tit. 12 §95
Heck, I don't remeber what I ate for dinner last month, but somehow I would have to mount a credible defense against a "therapist-guided" narrative. Any credible defense witnesses may possibly be dead by then.
This pair of bills is a misguided effort which will cause more harm than good and become a toll to "shake down" wealthy older folks. This kind of legislation from freshmen is more common than it should be. It is not an advancement of liberty or justice, as a whole. This kind of bill is typical pandering to special interests. Something Senator Holt has a reputation for, But I hope McDugle & Bush will not follow the same path.
The End of Reason and Sanity "For the Children"
UPDATE: Rep. Kevin McDugle picked up the phone and called me when this article first posted. We agree that his effort is well intended and it's personal with him. Rep. McDugle is a recovered victim of child molestation. But I shared with him my concerns for the elderly and affluent getting "shaken down" for out-of-court settlements.
It is my hope that an amendment is offered, to adjust the date to a plaintiff's 30th birthday, rather than 45th. It will still help the victims get relief, but would not encourage the Gloria Alreds of the world to set up "shake down" operations in the state. Child molestation is a serious harm to a child's mental health. It is associated with Borderline Personality Disorder and a common experience of people confused about their sexual orientation. PTSD is a common diagnosis stemming from repeat molestation.