California bishops are asking a judge to overturn a state law that extends the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims.

The state now allows adult survivors of child sexual abuse to file civil claims in old abuse cases until the age of 40, or five years after an adult survivor realizes they have been abused.

In addition, survivors are eligible under the law for triple damages in the event of an institutional cover up of the abuse. Previously, survivors of child sex abuse had to file civil claims by age 26, or within three years of realizing their abuse. 

The new law also created a three-year window for abuse claims beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, in cases where the old statute of limitations had already expired. The legislation, Assembly Bill 218, was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in Oct., 2019, and went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. 

The law is being challenged by the archbishops of Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the bishops of Orange, Fresno, Monterey, Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, and Santa Rosa. Only two of the state’s dioceses, San Diego and San Bernardino, are not listed in the motions. 

Full story at Catholic News Agency.