MINNESOTA

CHILD SEX ABUSE SOLs

CURRENT CIVIL SOL

In Minnesota, there is no civil SOL for child sex abuse claims.

CIVIL SOL SNAPSHOT

AGE CAP

NONE

DISCOVERY TOLLING

NONE

REVIVAL LAW

3-year window (closed 2016)

Changes Since 2002:

Age Cap: In 2002, the civil SOL was age 24 (age of majority, 18, plus 6 years) and in 2013, the SOL was eliminated.

Discovery:  Minnesota has not recognized a common law discovery rule for child sex abuse, but it did have a statutory discovery rule in effect from 1990 until 2013 when the SOL was eliminated. As of 1990, a retroactive discovery statute gave victims 2 years from discovery to sue for intentional torts and 6 years from discovery to sue for claims of negligence, even if the SOL had already expired before it was enacted. In 1991 this distinction was amended out and a 6-year discovery rule was available for all claims of abuse. The 6-year SOL ran from reasonable discovery of injury after reaching age 18. The discovery date is “the time at which the complainant knew or should have known that he/she was sexually abused”. The discovery statute is applicable to claims against all types of defendants — including institutions. In 2013, Minnesota eliminated the civil SOL for all claims that were not expired as of the effective date and did away with its statutory discovery rule.

Revival Law:  In 2013, Minnesota opened a 3-year revival window for previously expired child sex abuse claims against perpetrators, other individuals and private organizations. 

CURRENT MINNESOTA CIVIL LAW

Minn. Stat. Ann. § 541.073 - Actions for damages due to sexual abuse; special provisions

Subdivision 1. Definition. As used in this section:

(1) “sexual abuse” means conduct described in sections 609.342 to 609.3451; and

(2) “person” includes a natural person, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, organization, association, or other entity.

Subd. 2. Limitations period. (a) An action for damages based on sexual abuse: (1) must be commenced within six years of the alleged sexual abuse in the case of alleged sexual abuse of an individual 18 years or older; (2) may be commenced at any time in the case of alleged sexual abuse of an individual under the age of 18, except as provided for in subdivision 4; and (3) must be commenced before the plaintiff is 24 years of age in a claim against a natural person alleged to have sexually abused a minor when that natural person was under 14 years of age.

(b) The plaintiff need not establish which act in a continuous series of sexual abuse acts by the defendant caused the injury.

(c) This section does not affect the suspension of the statute of limitations during a period of disability under section 541.15.

Subd. 3. Applicability. This section applies to an action for damages commenced against a person who was a cause of the plaintiff’s damages either by (1) committing sexual abuse against the plaintiff, or (2) negligence.

Subd. 4. Vicarious liability or respondeat superior claims. A claim for vicarious liability or liability under the doctrine of respondeat superior must be commenced within six years of the alleged sexual abuse, provided that if the plaintiff was under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged abuse, the claim must be commenced before the plaintiff is 24 years of age. This subdivision does not limit the availability of these claims under other law.

Subd. 5. Title. This section may be cited as the “Child Victims Act.

Case law

D.M.S. v. Barber, 645 N.W.2d 383, 390 (Minn. 2002) (“[T]he six-year period of limitation under the delayed discovery statute begins to run when the victim reaches the age of majority.”).

CURRENT CRIMINAL SOL

In Minnesota, there is no criminal SOL for criminal sexual conduct and sex trafficking. 

CRIMINAL SOL SNAPSHOT

NOTHER FELNOIES

TRAFFICKING

No SOL Minn. Stat. Ann. § 628.26(e)

CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT

1ST, 2ND, 3RD and 4TH DEGREE 

No SOL Minn. Stat. Ann. § 628.26(e)

FELONIES

3 years from crime Minn. Stat. Ann. § 628.26(k)

MISDEMEANORS

3 years from crime Minn. Stat. Ann. § 628.26(k)

DNA SNAPSHOT

 

N/A

 

Changes Since 2002:

As of 2000, the criminal SOL in Minnesota for criminal sexual conduct was 9 years after the offense or 3 years after it is reported to the authorities, and the SOL was 3 years from the crime for all other felonies and misdemeanors.  The state eliminated the SOL for criminal sexual conduct if DNA evidence is collected.  In 2009, Minnesota clarified that its SOL for criminal sexual conduct was 9 years from the offense or 3 years after it was reported, whichever is later.  The 9-year SOL with a DNA statute was amended to include solicitation, inducement, and promotion of prostitution and sex trafficking in 2015. In 2021, Minnesota eliminated the criminal SOL for the following felonies: solicitation, inducement, and promotion of prostitution, sex trafficking, and criminal sexual conduct in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degrees.

CURRENT MINNESOTA CRIMINAL LAW

Minn. Stat. Ann. § 628.26 - Limitations

(a) Indictments or complaints for any crime resulting in the death of the victim may be found or made at any time after the death of the person killed.

(b) Indictments or complaints for a violation of section 609.25 may be found or made at any time after the commission of the offense.

(c) Indictments or complaints for violation of section 609.282 may be found or made at any time after the commission of the offense if the victim was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense.

(d) Indictments or complaints for violation of section 609.282 where the victim was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense, or 609.42, subdivision 1, clause (1) or (2), shall be found or made and filed in the proper court within six years after the commission of the offense.

(e) Indictments or complaints for violation of sections 609.322 and 609.342 to 609.345 at any time after the commission of the offense.

(f) Notwithstanding the limitations in paragraph (e), indictments or complaints for violation of sections 609.322 and 609.342 to 609.344 may be found or made and filed in the proper court at any time after commission of the offense, if physical evidence is collected and preserved that is capable of being tested for its DNA characteristics. If this evidence is not collected and preserved and the victim was 18 years old or older at the time of the offense, the prosecution must be commenced within nine years after the commission of the offense.

(g) Indictments or complaints for violation of section 609.2335, 609.52, subdivision 2, clause (3), items (i) and (ii), (4), (15), or (16), 609.631, or 609.821, where the value of the property or services stolen is more than $35,000, or for violation of section 609.527 where the offense involves eight or more direct victims or the total combined loss to the direct and indirect victims is more than $35,000, shall be found or made and filed in the proper court within five years after the commission of the offense.

(h) Except for violations relating to false material statements, representations or omissions, indictments or complaints for violations of section 609.671 shall be found or made and filed in the proper court within five years after the commission of the offense.

(i) Indictments or complaints for violation of sections 609.561 to 609.563, shall be found or made and filed in the proper court within five years after the commission of the offense.

(j) In all other cases, indictments or complaints shall be found or made and filed in the proper court within three years after the commission of the offense.

(k) The limitations periods contained in this section shall exclude any period of time during which the defendant was not an inhabitant of or usually resident within this state.

(l) The limitations periods contained in this section for an offense shall not include any period during which the alleged offender participated under a written agreement in a pretrial diversion program relating to that offense.

(m) The limitations periods contained in this section shall not include any period of time during which physical evidence relating to the offense was undergoing DNA analysis, as defined in section 299C.155, unless the defendant demonstrates that the prosecuting or law enforcement agency purposefully delayed the DNA analysis process in order to gain an unfair advantage.

Case Law

The information provided is solely for informational purposes and is not legal advice. To determine the Minnesota SOL in a particular case, contact a lawyer in the state.

Last Updated: April 21, 2021

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