Clergy abuse in Alabama has been a serious problem for years. The depth of the problem in the State has only recently surfaced, however. Too many children have been subject to priest abuse, pastor abuse, and even Rabbi abuse for too long. What’s most troubling is that those who commit clergy abuse often get away with it, simply moving to another town or state to abuse and harm more innocent victims.


In fact, a recent civil lawsuit that was filed in Florida alleges just that scenario, that a pastor, Doug Myers, was hired to recruit young children for potential clergy abuse at a Baptist convention, even though it had previously been reported that the man had been involved in numerous separate instances of unacceptable behavior with boys, behavior that constituted clergy abuse in both Maryland and Alabama. Pastor Myers was finally convicted for criminally molesting a boy in Florida, but the clergy abuse could have been stopped when it occurred in Alabama if only a case for clergy abuse had been filed there. The victims in Alabama could have felt vindicated and could have received civil damages to help rebuild their lives.


SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) recently petitioned the Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to clean up its act and rid itself of those pastors that commit the pastor abuse and clergy abuse that is ravaging the State. If you or a love one has been affected by a case of clergy abuse, pastor abuse, priest abuse, or even Rabbi abuse, you do have recourse, but it’s best if you act quickly. There are statutes of limitations in the state, and these statutes are sometimes changed by the legislature, or can be interpreted in different ways by judges in court.


If you believe you have a criminal or a civil case, consult with an established, experienced clergy abuse attorney as soon as you can. The statutes that might apply to your case could have been changed since this listing. The statute of limitations are listed below:


Statute of Limitations for Civil Cases:

  • In most cases, sexual abuse suits must be filed within two years of the incident. There are no statutory exceptions in sexual abuse actions. Ala. Code § 6-2-38(l).
  • Once you turn nineteen years of age, you have only two years to file, there are no delays, and no action can be filed at all after twenty years has passed: Ala. Code § 6-2-8.
  • There is no discovery rule in the State of Alabama. The Alabama Supreme Court does not permit a sexual abuse action to be filed when suppressed or latent memories of the incident arise beyond the statute of limitations. Travis v. Ziter, (Ala. 1996).

Statute of Limitations for Criminal Cases:

There is no Statute of Limitations in criminal cases for children under the age of sixteen. Ala. Code § 15-3-5(4). However, for victims beyond the age of sixteen, there is a three year statute of limitations for filing sexual abuse cases, which are usually felony charges. Ala. Code § 15-3-2; §§ 13A-6-60-70. Misdemeanor sexual offenses filed after the age of sixteen carry a one year Statute of Limitations. There is no special Statute of Limitations. The Alabama Supreme Court has refused to adopt a discovery rule or to apply Alabama’s insanity tolling provision to repressed memory claims. Travis v. Ziter, 681 So. 2d 1348 (Ala. 1996) Claims have to be filed within two years of the date of the incident § 6-2-38


If someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, contact our law firm at (954) 995.3805 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Samuel Rogatinsky at