Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
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Diocese’s motion taken under advisement by one judge, denied by another
the Inland Register
(From the June 10, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)
In two legal hearings in Spokane County Superior Court on June 4, attorneys for the Diocese of Spokane asked for court rulings on whether the 1988 change in the statute of limitations, which revived claims of sexual abuse that had already been legally time-barred before the 1988 change, is consistent with the Constitution of the State of Washington.
The diocese did not challenge the prospective application of the 1988 statute, but did argue that the retroactive application of the 1988 statute deprives the diocese, and other similarly situated institutions, of their constitutional rights.
The diocesan attorneys argued that the vast majority of courts in Washington, and from around the country, which have ruled on this issue have held that, once the statute of limitations has expired, the legislature may not retroactively revive claims which have already been time-barred.
Judge Kathleen O’Connor heard the June 4 morning argument and took the matter under advisement. Judge Maryann Moreno heard the afternoon argument and ruled from the bench, denying the diocese’s motion. Judge O’Connor said she would issue a written ruling. No date for that ruling has been announced.
The cases under consideration involved a total of 44 plaintiffs in 12 different suits against the Spokane Diocese.