In total, the names of 128 priests have been disclosed by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Churches across the country have begun to create programs to financially compensate victims. Most of these programs follow a similar structure, like that of the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
The church allocates a set amount to the program fund, and opens up a window of time for victims to sign up. At the end of the program, the money is divided among those who have signed on. Programs like this are NOT a lawsuit, and often they require you to waive your right to sue.
Can I receive compensation?
The California Independent Compensation Program (ICP) is only open to individuals who were abused by a member of one of the six participating dioceses:
- The Archdiocese of Los Angeles
- The Diocese of Fresno
- The Diocese of Orange
- The Diocese of Sacramento
- The Diocese of San Bernardino
- The Diocese of San Diego
In its current form, only these six dioceses participate in the ICP. If you were victimized by a member of the California Roman Catholic Church outside of these dioceses, we implore you to still contact Merson Law and to not give up hope. Pressure from the public influences more dioceses to create compensation programs.
In many cases, victim compensation programs have their own vetting process to determine who they will accept. People often wonder if they have enough evidence, or if the church will believe them. Only you know the truth, and if you were the victim of sexual assault, we can help you to take care of the paperwork.
How long do I have to make my ICP claim?
After years of letting this plague of sexual abuse run unchecked, the Catholic Church is finally cracking down on its own. The California ICP began September 16, 2019, and closes on January 31st, 2020.
Why Should I get a Lawyer?
Victims programs often advertise that you do not need a lawyer to sign up, and that one will be provided for you when you do. This is true, but misleading. The lawyer provided to you by the church will not be YOUR lawyer. He or she works for the interest of the church, not for you, and is mostly retained for the church’s own legal protections.
Like in most legal matters, you’ll receive more compensation if you have a lawyer. Additionally, as mentioned before, victims’ programs often require you to sign away your right to sue, among other things. We do not want you to get “tricked” by the church’s lawyers. Having your own lawyer present assures you that you completely understand the process and that you do not inadvertently sign off on things you didn’t mean to.
As an experienced sexual assault lawyer, Jordan Merson understands that not everyone can afford costly lawyer fees. Despite this, it is incredibly important for victims to have proper representation in these matters. Merson takes no out of pocket fee from the client for this reason.