Beginning June 15, 2019, people who were sexually abused during their childhood by priests and other clergy of one of the Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey may receive an invitation to participate in the Independent Victim Compensation Program (“IVCP”). If you receive such an invitation, it is important to contact an attorney before making a decision on participating in the IVCP. While the program is designed to compensate clergy abuse victims, there are other legal options you will want to consider.
The IVCP may be the right compensation program for some clergy abuse victims, but it is not for everyone. For instance, a civil lawsuit may be better and more valuable option for your claim. A lawsuit will give you the opportunity to learn the full history of the priests and get documents about what the Diocese knew about the offending priest and when they knew it. If you decide to settle your claim through the IVCP program, you will be giving up potentially-valuable legal rights to file a lawsuit in New Jersey against the Diocese and others responsible for your sexual abuse.
Horowitz Law is representing numerous victims of sexual abuse by priests in New Jersey and has decades of experience handling these claims. It is important that you contact a sexual abuse attorney well-versed in the inner working of the Catholic Church and who has knowledge of the scope of the clergy abuse scandal. At Horowitz Law, we painstakingly assembled biographies on every priest in the State of New Jersey who has publicly faced an allegation of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Newark and the Dioceses of Camden, Metuchen, Paterson, and Trenton.
Horowitz Law assists client in in assembling evidence, preparing and submitting the claims form in a timely manner, and communicating and meeting with the fund administrators.
The effective date of the IVCP is June 15, 2019. The program is available to anyone abuse by clergy of one of the New Jersey Dioceses regardless of whether the clergyman was affiliated with a school, parish or other agency of the Diocese. Program administrations report that the claims will be handled in the order in which they are received, starting with claims of sexual abuse that were reported to the Diocese prior to the date of this Protocol. Victims shall be eligible for compensation regardless of whether they have previously reported these incidents to the Diocese or law enforcement. Victims will not be eligible for the program if they have previously settled their clergy abuse claim or if the abuse was committed by a religious Order priest or priest of a Dioceses outside New Jersey. Notably, the entire IVCP process is confidential and claimant will not have their names publicly disclosed by applying for compensation.
The program will be independently administered by neutral fund administrators in two Phases. Phase I, which begins June 15, 2019, is available to victims who reported their abuse on or before June 15, 2019 to their Diocese. Phase II is for victims who have not previously reported their abuse. Phase II victims may register their claims beginning June 15, 2019 and continuing through October 31, 2019. The deadline to file claims for Phase I and II is December 31, 2019.