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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11656
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I wanting to pursue a civil lawsuit against my father and his

Customer Question

I wanting to pursue a civil lawsuit against my father and his parents. My reason for this is that his molestation of me when I was two - four years old (documented in transcripts of my police interview) has recently come back to affect my life in that it cost me a good job & continues to hinder my abilities to be successful in finding/maintaining work/college studies. I have doctors spanning my first therapies to the current time. I am now 26, but I think I deserve some sort of compensation for the long term affects his actions have had on my, life, as well as some sort of money to offset psychological, psychiatric, and counselling sessions I have had to pay for. He was never convicted criminally, but was sentenced to counselling ifor
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Hi. When did you discover the molestation? Also, what state are you in? There could be a statute of limitations issue depending on the state.

Thank you.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I didn't "discover it" it went on from the time I was 2 years old until I was almost 4 years old. My mother found out when I was about 4. At that time police got involved, but he was never convicted of anything criminal. A judge did sentence him to counseling but he never completed it thus his visitation rights were terminated and I have not seen him since however I do not wish to see him charged or convicted of anything as I am certain that the statute of limitations is up on that seeing as I am now 26 years old. What I wish to do is sue him and his parents for the long term damage his actions have had on my life. I live in Iowa. This all happened in Iowa.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 7 years ago.

Hi again. Thank you for the additional information.

You say that you didn’t “discover” the molestation, so I take that to mean that you always knew of it (i.e. you didn’t repress it or were otherwise unaware). I’m sorry to say that as I suspected, the statute of limitations has run out to sue for civil damages. The relevant Iowa law states:

614.8A Damages for child sexual abuse - time limitation.

An action for damages for injury suffered as a result of sexual abuse which occurred when the injured person was a child, but not discovered until after the injured person is of the age of majority, shall be brought within four years from the time of discovery by the injured party of both the injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the sexual abuse.

Since you always knew of the molestation, then you would have had 4 years from the time you turned 18 to sue … i.e. the statute of limitations ran out for you when you turned 22 years old.

However, you can still attempt to have your father criminally prosecuted because the statute of limitations has not yet run out:

802.2A Incest.

1. An information or indictment for incest under section 726.2 committed on or with a person who is under the age of eighteen shall be found within ten years after the person upon whom the offense is committed attains eighteen years of age. An information or indictment for any other incest shall be found within ten years after its commission.

So, your father can be prosecuted until you turn 28 years old.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

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DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. Accordingly, you acknowledge that (1) we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) my post is general information only and is not legal advice. For legal representation and/or legal advice I urge you to consult in person with an attorney in your local area.