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Can i person/persons be sued by a victim of multiple assault…

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Can i person/persons be...

Can i person/persons be sued by a victim of multiple sexual assault if the offenders were under 17 at time of offending?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

New zealand

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

Several. they all say i need a criminal lawyer. is

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

The offenders have admitted a minimalised version of the offending already to police

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: New Zealand Law
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9/27/2017
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Chris The Lawyer
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Satisfied Customers: 23,628
Experience: 38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

If an offender is aged under 17 at the time of the offence, then they can be charged, but would usually be sentenced on the basis of being a young person at the time of the offending. It would be helpful if you tell me if you are a victim or the offender

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
i don't want them charged.I want to sue them for restitution!! And I am the victim with a destroyed Life. They sexually assaulted me continuously between the ages of 4 and 12
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Unfortunately the system in New Zealand is more difficult because where there has been a criminal act, then the police have to bring criminal charges and prosecute, which means the offenders get various sentences which may of course be a substantial jail term for the worst cases.

If you want to bring a civil claim that is much more difficult. The starting point is that you are entitled to bring a claim to ACC, and you may have done this already. You can sue for what is called exemplary damages but you would need to bring a claim in probably the High Court or the District Court, and either apply for legal aid if you don't have any money, or pay for a lawyer. There is a practical element to bringing a claim, which is whether the offender actually has money to pay. Sometimes they do, and people have sued in the past for cases like yours. So it is possible.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
the offenders have money. So would you recommend ACC as a starting point? Are you aware of any precedent set in this type of case. what would be an expected sum one would pursue?
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

You certainly should try ACC to make a claim. They have a unit which deals with sensitive claims, and so when you make contact you should ensure that they deal with your claim rather than the general claims department. ACC will generally cover issues like medical problems or counselling which you require, and there are small lump sums available when your case has been completed. You can also consider if you want to sue, but the amounts which the courts have awarded are not usually very high. The highest which I have come across was $100,000. This is probably the limit that you could expect.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
would that be $100,000 per offender? I'm dealing with 2 olders brothers getting together to sexually abuse a younger sister from preschool til adolescence. It has completely destroyed my life. Would they be motivated to settle out of court at risk of the publicity? Can there names be released if it goes to court?
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

This can be a claim against each offender. It is not easy to say whether they would settle to avoid the publicity. You probably know them better and whether this would be an incentive to avoid being sued. In cases like this names are ***** ***** but you can ask for suppression to be lifted.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
As the offenders admitted ther version of offending to the police is there a way I can legally persue the police for not bringing charges.
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

It is difficult to review a decision by the police not to prosecute. You can however bring a private criminal prosecution.

Has anyone talk to you about considering a restorative justice process? At a process like this facilitated by a restorative justice expert, you could go through a process of considering the harms which have been done, getting the offenders to acknowledge the harm and possibly even negotiating compensation. This could be done in a private setting and work with you to repair the harm which has been done to you. This will avoid having to go through the difficult details of the offending in a court setting.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
My PTSD has resulted in my pretty much being a total shut in and even if I wasnt I will not sit in a room with them. But aside from that I like the sound of those options. Be honest, would you take on this case.
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Sometimes restorative justice conferencing can take place without parties being in the same room. In cases of sexual offending it is very difficult for the survivor/victim to confront the offenders. If you wanted to start a restorative justice solution, the offenders would need to agree, but I could suggest persons to approach to facilitate conferencing.

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Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
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Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I have included the link to contact the principal restorative justice facilitation group. They work across New Zealand, and you could make contact with them to see if this is possible

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Wouldnt the more effective way be to start with bringing a private criminal prosecution and sue seeking exemplary damages while being very clear that lifting name suppression for the resulting publicity will be sort? And let them negotiate out that position. They both have wives who know nothing and their own businesses. Exposure is an issue for them. A big one.
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

You need to be very careful about threatening to expose them and claim damages, because that is sometimes considered to be blackmail. You also need to consider the effect on you if you have to spend time giving evidence in a court, where everything you say will be challenged by their lawyers. That can be a horrible experience, especially if you are traumatised already. This is why I suggested restorative justice. If that doesn't work, or they refuse, then you can still bring a private prosecution and bring a civil action for exemplary damages

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I'm not threatening. I'm very happy to follow it right through. I have had no justice. i need an advocate to help me get some justice. But I see what you mean. So would you be involved in in the restorative justice process?
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I am a lawyer, and a student of restorative justice. But you dont need a lawyer for the process, as Restore provide the appropriate expert support help

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
If I pay for a phone call with you how long with that be?
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I dont have a time limit

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Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I hope this has been useful

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