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#31517 - 11/08/03 11:31 AM Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Fred Tolson Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 375
Loc: Denver, CO
Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Hardwicke v The American Boychoir

On Wednesday November 12, 2003 at 9:30 a.m. in the historic Morristown, New Jersey Courthouse, a three-judge panel of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division will hear argument on an issue crucial to anyone who may have been, or may in the future be, victimized by any non-profit religious, charitable or educational institution in the State of New Jersey.

A New Jersey trial court has interpreted the New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act to provide broad immunity to such institutions for all civil liability. The effect of the court's decision is to immunize so called "charitable" institutions from liability for sexual abuse of children, even if the institution knew of, fostered or even intended that abuse. If that decision is allowed to stand, New Jersey will become a safe haven for pedophiles to open shop as "charitable institutions" allowing them to abuse children with impunity and leaving their victims with little or no civil remedy.

The issues before the Appellate Division include a challenge to the constitutionality of the Charitable Immunity Act as it was interpreted by the trial court. The language of the Charitable Immunity Act is specific to immunize certain charitable institutions from simple "negligence." The trial court expanded this language to include even intentional torts and fraudulent conduct and justified its actions by calling it "judicial gloss." The challenge to this interpretation argues that if such expansion of the plain language of the Act is allowed to stand, then the Act, under its expanded interpretation, violates the rights guaranteed by the New Jersey Constitution.

The appeal is being handled by the law firm of Piper Rudnick and oral argument will be given by internationally recognized constitutional scholar Lawrence Lessig.

For more information please contact Keith Smith of Piper Rudnick at 215-656-3325


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#31518 - 11/09/03 02:56 AM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
JohnW Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 7
Loc: Maryland
New Jersey is one of only a few states to have something called Charitable Immunity.

The law is grossly unfair. It has been used to prevent charitable organizations like schools, hospitals, and religious institutions from being held responsible for the negligent and even criminal acts of employees.

Because of Charitable Immunity it doesn't matter if the charity knew or even purposely allowed the criminal behavior of employees. The instituion is simply immune from liability.

At the school I attended, the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey, sexual abuse by staff members was rampant and it went on for decades. Under the court's interpretation of the New Jersey law it wouldn't even matter if the school had advertised for pedophiles to teach the children. The school would still be immune from prosecution.


I want to urge everyone who can attend the hearing to please attend and to show their support for victims of abuse.




Quote:
Originally posted by Fred Tolson:
Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Hardwicke v The American Boychoir

On Wednesday November 12, 2003 at 9:30 a.m. in the historic Morristown, New Jersey Courthouse, a three-judge panel of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division will hear argument on an issue crucial to anyone who may have been, or may in the future be, victimized by any non-profit religious, charitable or educational institution in the State of New Jersey.

A New Jersey trial court has interpreted the New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act to provide broad immunity to such institutions for all civil liability. The effect of the court's decision is to immunize so called "charitable" institutions from liability for sexual abuse of children, even if the institution knew of, fostered or even intended that abuse. If that decision is allowed to stand, New Jersey will become a safe haven for pedophiles to open shop as "charitable institutions" allowing them to abuse children with impunity and leaving their victims with little or no civil remedy.

The issues before the Appellate Division include a challenge to the constitutionality of the Charitable Immunity Act as it was interpreted by the trial court. The language of the Charitable Immunity Act is specific to immunize certain charitable institutions from simple "negligence." The trial court expanded this language to include even intentional torts and fraudulent conduct and justified its actions by calling it "judicial gloss." The challenge to this interpretation argues that if such expansion of the plain language of the Act is allowed to stand, then the Act, under its expanded interpretation, violates the rights guaranteed by the New Jersey Constitution.

The appeal is being handled by the law firm of Piper Rudnick and oral argument will be given by internationally recognized constitutional scholar Lawrence Lessig.

For more information please contact Keith Smith of Piper Rudnick at 215-656-3325



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#31519 - 11/09/03 02:49 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
helpmystephen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/02
Posts: 19
Loc: nyc
If anyone is interested in not only attending this hearing but also participating in a peacful protest to this ridicules immunity law please pm me.


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#31520 - 11/09/03 03:22 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
The effect of the court's decision is to immunize so called "charitable" institutions from liability for sexual abuse of children, even if the institution knew of, fostered or even intended that abuse.
Some things are so sick that if an individual said, or did, them they would be locked up.

If this is allowed to happen.........

I'm speechless...

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#31521 - 11/10/03 11:21 AM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Pollyanna Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
Ok this just went to the top of my list of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

To have the audacity to suggest that SOME people shouldn't be accountable for what they do...
If it's wrong for one, it's wrong for everyone.

If they don't want to be accountable, then maybe they should be a little more selective in their staffing procedures, eh? Nooooooo, that would be too easy. It's right up there with suing McDonalds cuz kids are getting fat. Puhleeease.

Is there some kind of petition somewhere for this? If not, there should be. Not being in N.J., it may not make a difference what I think, but I'm sure there are a lot of people who ARE in N.J. who would have something to say. If there's something non-Jersey people can do, please let us know.

This simply CAN'T happen!

Lynn

_________________________
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

– Anne Lamott

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#31522 - 11/10/03 12:55 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
thegoebs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 1
Loc: New Jersey
Many of you may already know that the NJ legislature has sat on several bills that have been crafted to adjust charitable immunity and even statue of limitations laws that favor institutions not choldren or victims. Please come to the courthouse in Morristown on Wednesday and bring your friends and family. We need to let the legislature know that there are many of us looking to them to fix the problems with the laws that caused this case to go to the appeal process to begin with.

I will be there on Wednesday, please join me!!!!


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#31523 - 11/10/03 04:28 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Mark Crawford Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 73
Loc: New Jersey
YES THERE IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO!!!

First, we do need anyone and everyone to attend this hearing...if you have anyway of getting there early Wednesday morning please do so. If you need directions to the Morristown, New Jersey court house call 973-829-8220. When people show up who aren't directly linked to this case it tells these judges the victims WILL SPEAK OUT. We will not accept this trampling of our rights any longer!

They have gotten away with this in NJ for far too long....ONLY YOUR INVOLVEMENT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

In 1999 I asked our State Senator, Joseph Vitale to address the archiac law. He agreed with me and introduced bill S-843. It was assigned to the judiciary committee where it can only be moved along if the committee president decides to "post the bill for a hearing" Senators Gormley of Atlantic City and Senator Adler also from south Jersey have routinely ignored these victims! The have ignored many requests to post this bill for a hearing. Gormley openly stated in the New York Times, "this bill will go nowhere".

Further, Archbishop Meyers and Mr. Boland, the head of the New Jersey Catholic Conference quietly met with Senator Cody (NJ Senate President) to request that he oppose this legislation...he would not do that.

The current law states that as a member of the non-profit you derived a benifit from that non-profit therefore you have NO CIVIL RECOURSE against this institution. So when a child has a felony crime committed against him or her do you suppose they understand the benifit they are recieving? Now if they are not a member they could in fact bring a cause of action but as we all know this is rarely the case.

The law I proposed would eliminate thier immunity ONLY in cases involving the sexual molestation of a minor. Most people believe these institutions shouldn't have ANY immunity, why should they be above the law? Who could/would oppose this???

Tommorow I will post all contact info for these Senators, I urge you to call thier office, e-mail them...write them letters and demand they change this law now!!!

I do have petitions you can sign but of course they have far more impact coming from a NJ voter. Call your friends and family in NJ and tell them you need their help. If I can I will post the attachments (petitions) here in a Word file.

Again I encourage ALL SURVIVORS, and their supporters to contact these law makers and tell them to ACT RESPONSIBLY!

Anyone who plans on attending a peaceful demo outside the courthouse please send me a private e-mail asap.

Thanks for your support! Only together will we make a difference!

Mark Crawford
Survivor, Advocate


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#31524 - 11/10/03 07:21 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
John, Mark and all,

Why don't they just call it, "The New Jersey Charity Impunity Act," 'the gift to pedaphiles everywhere, the gift that keeps on destroying.'"

I wrote a letter this weekend, to my 8th grade teacher who abused me.

We have to stand up and be counted. It may be hard for some of us, and for others, impossible, but for those of us who can, we've got to drag ourselves up and be counted.

Oh, my brothers, can you believe what this court has to consider...........our furture......the futures of the future...........it truly boggles the mind.

Who is suppoting such law? Who is suggesting such shit? Is it a pedophile lobby?
Who in their right mind could ever think of not supporting the children? Are they child abusers themselves, who don't want to pay for their crimes?

The inmates are truly running this asylum, called Society.

Again, I will put Christmas money into a gift for those who go unheard.............and hurt. Tell me where to send funds for the striking down of such incredibly bad law, and for the raising of our voice.

John, please tell the boys of the choir that the boys of malesurvivor stand with them.

Peace, power and courage,

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#31525 - 11/12/03 08:41 AM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
From Wednesday's Trenton Times:

Abuse victims hope for reversal


Wednesday, November 12, 2003


By KAREN AYRES
Staff Writer

John Hardwicke did not stand out as the best alto singer at the American Boychoir School back in 1970.

Nor does he set himself apart now with his accounts of sexual molestation at the Princeton Township school some 33 years later.

"It started out as touching on the shoulder, and then it just progressed from there to be more and more," Hardwicke said yesterday during a telephone interview. "It was all the time."


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The Maryland resident filed a lawsuit against the prestigious music school in 2001. Soon thereafter, dozens of former students came forward to report abuse by school employees, and a class-action lawsuit was filed a year later.

But a Superior Court judge put a stop to the cases early this year when he ruled the school was not liable for damages under the state's "Charitable Immunity Act," which protects certain nonprofit groups against negligence claims.

Hardwicke and Douglas Palmatier - a Summit resident who filed the class-action suit - say the ruling is unfair, and they are slated to appeal the decision this morning to a three-judge appeals court panel in Morristown.

The ruling, which is not expected today, could open up the famous boarding school to dozens of lawsuits from former students who are reportedly waiting to decide whether to pursue their own cases of alleged abuse.

It also will have massive ramifications for nonprofit institutions like the Catholic Church, which are largely protected from civil lawsuits related to sexual abuse claims under the immunity law.

"If that decision is allowed to stand, New Jersey could become a safe haven for pedophiles - allowing them to abuse children with impunity and leaving their victims without civil remedy," said Keith Smith, Hardwicke's lawyer.-- -- --

When Hardwicke first entered the American Boychoir School in 1969, the seventh-grader was not abused.

It was a year later when Donald Hanson, a new choir director, arrived at the school that the molestation began, Hardwicke said yesterday.

"Within a couple weeks of his arrival at the school, that is when he started to molest me and the other kids as well," he said.

"There were certain things that happened that were really difficult for me because they didn't feel comfortable, but I was the teacher's pet. I was flattered. I really got very confused about what was happening."

Hardwicke said he never reported the sexual assaults to his parents, and though he knew of at least one other student who also was being victimized at the time, no one spoke of it.

"I felt it gave me some value, but in fact I've come to recognize it really devalued me," said Hardwicke, who said he was abused by other employees as well.

He left school in the spring of 1971 and ultimately finished his schooling in his native Maryland.

"I had been a straight-A student," he said. "I became a very poor student and socially withdrawn. I never related all those problems to the fact that I had been abused."

It was roughly 20 years later, after Hardwicke sought help from a therapist, that he ultimately realized he had been abused.

"It was only through an awful lot of talking with the therapist that I realized I was a little kid and I was being manipulated," he said.

"I called all sorts of boys from the school. Many of the kids from the school had been abused and went on to abuse drugs, question their sexuality and have affairs. What we all shared was this sense of guilt and shame and darkness that has really followed all of us through our lives."

Hardwicke, who now operates a Web site about abuse that allegedly occurred at the school, said he decided to file a lawsuit against Hanson and the school largely because of how the abuse has continued to harm him.

"It's difficult to have as close a sexual relationship as I would like with my wife," he said. "Kissing my wife becomes difficult because of having been french-kissed by Mr. Hanson, and that was something that was very hard for me.

"It's just so pervasive in every aspect of my life."

Hardwicke's wife, Terri, is also a plaintiff in the case.-- -- --

Superior Court Judge Jack Sabatino ruled that Hardwick and Palmatier's claims against Hanson, the former choir director, could go forward.

But though Hanson was served with a copy of the suit in 2001 at his home in Canada, that was the last time anyone involved with the lawsuit has heard from or seen Hanson.

As a result, he could not be contacted for this story.

"We have no real hope of being able to pursue him for anything," Smith said. "We don't know exactly where he is."

When Sabatino ruled in January that Hardwicke's claims against the school could not go forward because the Charitable Immunity Act protects nonprofits like the school, "no matter how flagrant that conduct may be," it left the plaintiffs little choice but to appeal.

The immunity act, which dates to 1958, covers nonprofits organized for religious, charitable or educational purposes and only applies to those who are a beneficiary of the group.

Smith, Hardwick's lawyer, said yesterday the judge's decision was unfair because he rejected claims of negligence and other more aggressive charges such as assault and battery as well as false imprisonment that should be allowed to go forward.

The New Jersey Legislature amended the immunity act in 1995 to specifically exclude grossly negligent and willful acts from the protection.

"The trial court's interpretation of this case is too broad," Smith said.

The judge also ruled in a separate decision that the school could not be held liable under the state's Child Sexual Abuse Act because the facility was not classified as a person under the law.

"The logic that an entity can't be a guardian is flawed," Smith said. "It's clear even a common definition of person in the law certainly includes corporations."

Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford University law professor and former American Boychoir student, is expected to argue on behalf of Hardwicke and the other victims at today's hearing, and the constitutionality of the law is expected to come under fire.

It was unclear yesterday what the American Boychoir side will argue.

The school referred all inquiries from reporters to lawyer Jay Greenblatt, who declined to comment on the case.

Since the accounts of abuse were made public, the school has sent letters to alumni about the incidents and started a helpline staffed by a psychologist in hopes of encouraging victims to talk about their experiences. Other lawsuits with similar allegations have been settled.-- -- --

If Hardwicke and the other former choir students are not successful with the appeal today, there is a chance the state law could be changed by the Legislature.

There are now multiple bills pending that would narrow the scope of the law so childhood sex abuse victims could pursue cases.

But the bills haven't gone anywhere.

William Bolan, executive director of the state's Catholic Conference, said his group has strongly opposed the proposed changes.

"It's unfair to penalize the charitable employer where the flaw that gives rise to the sexual abuse is not discernible," Bolan said. "There exists no psychological testing that would identify a person with a proclivity for sexual abuse. You cannot put someone on a pedophile machine."

Bolan contends perpetrators should be held personally responsible for their actions, not the institutions that employ them.

"They have a right to get something from the person who did it to them - assuming they can prove it was done - not the employers," Bolan said. "Just because they can't find the perpetrator, that doesn't mean you can pick someone else."

State Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Lawrence, said she decided to sign on as co-sponsor of a bill to restrict the act after meeting with a constituent who was abused by a Catholic priest.

"Every organization, or institution for that matter, has to take a greater responsibility for protecting children," Turner said. "In doing so they need to do a thorough background check of the people they employ.

"I don't think the bill is a perfect bill. We have to have a balance between the rights of the victim and the rights of the accused." (


Copyright 2003 NJ.com. All Rights Reserved.


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#31526 - 11/12/03 10:49 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Richard Gartner, PhD Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 404
Loc: New York, NY, USA
Tell us how it went

_________________________
www.richardgartner.com

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#31527 - 11/14/03 03:30 AM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
JohnW Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 7
Loc: Maryland
I am the former American Boychoir student who was the plaintiff in the case against the Boychoir.

I just don’t know how to express my gratitude to Male Survivor for its support – several members of Male Survivor attended the hearing and several others e-mailed and phoned me expressing their best wishes.

I think what was most difficult about the hearing on Wednesday was that it just seemed crazy to me that after more than two years in litigation we still weren’t talking about what actually happened at the school. We were still dealing with legal technicalities about whether the school could even be sued.

All I really want is to be able to have my case – and the cases of other alumni – to be heard by a jury. I want to be able to present the facts in a court of law. I want a jury to hear the evidence about what happened to us.

We were kids and the teachers were supposed to help us. Instead they helped themselves to us. They gave the students liquor and had sex with them – sometimes one kid at a time and at other times the teachers had sex with groups of kids.

The boarding school had secret passages with peepholes that the staff used to spy on the children. We were given pornography. We were urinated on. We were sexualized and hurt in too many ways to describe.

Choir directors abused us. The headmaster, teachers, proctors, a school cook and a groundskeeper. It was so bad that even neighbors of the school would sometimes sneak in at night and abuse the boys while they slept.

But we were not just molested at night. It happened all day long.

All of this went on for years and years. Decade after decade kids were molested and nobody ever did anything. Even those adults who were not themselves sexual with the children looked the other way and allowed it to happen.

I’ve talked to many alumni who were molested. We were hurt then and we hurt still. Some are alcoholic or addicted to drugs. Some question their sexuality. Some are addicted to pornography or sex. Some have tried to commit suicide. Some of us are filled with self hatred and shame and guilt.

And now we want somebody to help. We want the school to stand up and say we could have done better, we should have done more, we could have protected these children.

I don’t like going to court. I just want the school to acknowledge the harm that was done and, sadly, they won’t do it. So we have to go to court to make them say it.

In America, when we can’t get people to do what’s right we don’t shoot them or bomb their buildings or hit them. We take them to court. I guess that’s good, but it isn’t terribly satisfying because the legal system is time consuming and expensive and full of loopholes like New Jersey’s Charitable Immunity Act which make it difficult if not impossible to bring a lawsuit against many religious or educational organizations like the American Boychoir.

It is all very upsetting to me.

Last night, after the hearing, I talked to one of my classmates who was my best friend when we were kids at the school. He and I were both abused. He was such a little boy when it happened. I mean not only was he literally a little kid at the time, but he was very small for his age.

I wish that somehow I’d been able to say to him then, when we were so far away from home, when we were lonely, when we needed and wanted to be cared for and loved, that we had to do something to stop the adults from touching us.

But I didn’t say anything. As a child I didn’t say anything at all. It didn’t even occur to me to say anything – and, really, we knew we were not supposed to say anything.

But now we are grown men and last night, when I talked to him I told him it was wrong. I told him that we shouldn’t have been hurt.

It was thirty years late to tell him that we had to do something, but maybe – even after thirty years – it wasn’t too late to tell him that we have to do something.

We’ve got to do something because even now, even after three decades, the abusers are still inside us, they are still molesting us, they’re still hurting us. We’ve got to do something.

I don’t know what to do. I thought (and I still hope) that taking the school to court would help. I want a jury of my peers to hear the evidence and say the school allowed this to happen. I want a jury to say you were just little kids. It wasn’t your fault. The school should have protected you.

So on Wednesday, if we get lucky and if the court finds that the school can’t hide behind New Jersey’s Charitable Immunity Act, we get one step closer to being able to be heard in front of a jury and to presenting the facts.

I want to apologize to everyone for telling my story as though it is the worst thing in the world. So many people are hurt everyday and in so many ways even worse than the ways in which we were hurt.

As far as I know no one at the school was chained to a wall or electrocuted or starved or buried in a box.
However, we were little kids and we were hurt very badly.

I don’t really know quite what to say, but the short answer to the question how did things go on Wednesday when we argued that the laws of New Jersey should be made fair is this: we were heard. Maybe the court will do something for us. Maybe they won’t. But we won’t give up until justice is done.


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#31528 - 11/14/03 11:34 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Pollyanna Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
You're so brave.

Yes it IS the worst thing in the world. To hurt a child--especially like this--is an atrocity.

I just hope they get a jury of people who can comprehend the depth of it all.

Lynn

_________________________
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

– Anne Lamott

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#31529 - 11/15/03 04:44 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Mark Crawford Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 73
Loc: New Jersey
I was there at the courthouse and the press briefing which followed. John as well as Mark G, another survivor of the American Boys Choir predator factory, were just GREAT!!! It takes a lot to stand before the press and talk about these atrocities. The court knows we are serious about this case as the courtroom was packed with supporters and the press.

Its done more good than most people think. This story was covered in several NJ papers and these articles did a great job in educating New Jerseyans about the Charitable Immunity Law which grants absolute immunity to institutions who have harbored pedophiles. The bills which are pending have gone no where because of the powerful institutions which have lobbied against them.

I am appaled and horrified that our society will hunt down, prosecute and through CEO's and their co-workers in jail for cheating people out of their money and investments (ENRON), yet an institution like the American Boys Choir can allow the destruction of our greatest assests (OUR CHILDREN)and these men not only will not be sent to jail....you can't even sue their business. Is this outrageous or what? What are these lawmakers thinking when institutions can allow felony crimes to be committed against children yet have IMMUNITY from civil liability. To deny these victims their day in court is to AGAIN silence them! Mike Lew wrote "silence is the glue which keeps sexual abuse firmly in place". I hope you are as mad as I am about this and I HOPE YOU WILL HELP US CHANGE THESE LAWS!!!

The media coverage has finally gotten the attention of the law makers in Trenton who have been opposing this legislation. It now appears they are ready to allow it to move forward. I will be calling on you all soon to write, call and e-mail NJ law makers to tell them how offensive this law is.

I have been told that bill S-843 which would no longer grant immunity to a non profit when a minor has been sexually abused, is about to be posted for a hearing! (I have waited more than 4 years for this day) If it makes it out of committee (seems good) That means the law makers will be voting on it. It could become law by year end.

I am not yet certain of the date but it looks like Monday, November 24 may be the day hearings are to be held regarding this archiac law which MUST be changed.

I HOPE THAT ANYONE, SURVIVORS, SUPPORTERS, PROFESSIONALS, FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL COME TO TRENTON TO JOIN US, so these law makers will know that people do care about this miscarriage of justice! If any of you are willing to come please clear your calander for this day. I will post more info as soon as I have more details. We will gather as many people as possible and also hold a press conference to educate others on what victims have to go through to be heard in our state. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!

If the laws in your state need to be changed we may be headed there next!

I hope to see you in Trenton, NJ on Monday, Nov 24. More details to follow...

Mark Crawford
Advocacy and Activism


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#31530 - 11/17/03 02:10 AM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
JohnW Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 7
Loc: Maryland
You can count on me to be at the hearing, to make calls, to send e-mails and to do whatever I can to make a difference.

I think it would be great if we could somehow get a clickable e-mail list of members of New Jersey's Legislature somewhere on MaleSurvivor(or at least a clickable link to the legislature) so that members can conveniently e-mail their thoughts about Charitable Immunity.


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#31531 - 11/17/03 08:23 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
As someone who knows the horrors of boarding school this upsets me greatly, and I have great difficulty in believing that anyone would vote to retain such an abhorent law.

I can't be there in NJ, but I will email if someone tells me where to send it.

And if someone will shout on my behalf I'd be honoured.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#31532 - 11/23/03 05:24 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Mark Crawford Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 73
Loc: New Jersey
Below please find the contact infor for the New Jersey Senators who make up the Judiciary Committee...Senators Gormley and Adler are the only two who can agree to post this bill for a public hearing...THIS IS WHAT WE NEED NOW!!!

WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO GETTING THIS HEARING.

I ask you to please call, and fax their offices and ask them to post bill S-843 for a hearing ASAP. This bill is a very NARROW REVISION to this states current law removing immunity in cases involving the sexual molestation of a minor.

All the other Senators will have to vote on it after the hearing so it is important that they hear from you as well. SO PLEASE LET THEM HEAR HOW OUTRAGED WE ARE THAT LAWS LIKE THIS STILL EXIST! NJ is one of only 4 states with this law and NJ's is bar far the most restrictive.

Please help us make a difference, we really need your help. Particularly if you know anyone in NJ who will call or contact them as well.

If you call ask for a legislative aid...they office will probably tell you they are on another line and will take a message.

A few points you may want to mention. Don't be afraid to be firm...they are paid by us to REPRESENT US!!

How can a child be deriving a benefit from any institution when a felony crime is being committed against him/her?

Why should anyone be denied the OPPORTUNITY to civil justice...after all is this not how we "make victims whole" (not sure that is ever possible) but our society allows all victims to seek restitution through our court system, why are these children not allowed?

Why should any institution be above the law and allowed to be held to a lower standard than that of our secular society?

Why is it a non member can initiate a cause of action but a member (of the institution or non-profit)cannot?

Why does NJ law make the assets of these institutions more valuable then the safety of our most precious belongings...our children?

_________________________________________________


The Senator's telephone AND fax numbers are:

John Adler (856) 428-3343 telephone; (856) 428-1358 Fax

William Gormley (609) 646-3500 telephone; (609) 646-6735

James Cafiero (609) 522-0462 telephone; (609) 522-0428 Fax

George Geist (856) 309-2200 telephone; (856) 309-5673 Fax

Nia Gill (973) 509-0388 telephone; (973) 509-9241 Fax

John Girgenti (973) 427-1229 telephone; (973) 423-5895 Fax

Peter Inverso (609) 586-1330 telephone; (609) 586-1906 Fax

Robert Martin (973) 984-0922 telephone; (973) 984-8094 Fax

Paul Sarlo (201) 804-8118 telephone; (201) 804-8644 Fax

Bob Smith (732) 752-0770 telephone; (732) 752-1590 Fax

Thank you again for your help.


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#31533 - 11/30/03 04:53 PM Re: Challenge to New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act
Mark Crawford Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 73
Loc: New Jersey
OKAY...who is ready to help us MAKE A DIFFERENCE this week in NJ? For all those who asked to be involved with Activism and Advocacy Committee or those who just want to help us make the laws better for those who have been victims, I ask that you please pick up the phone and be heard. Please encourage any NJ resident you know to call...but if you are not a resident please don't let that stop you.

If this law doesn't move soon I will organize a rally in the spring and hopefully many victims from all over this country will come to send a powerful message!

I ask that all survivors and supporters to please call these NJ state senators and ask them to:

1. Call Senators Adler and Gormley (info on the list in the above post) and ask them to post this bill (bill S-843, a narrow revision to NJ's Charitable Immunity Act, that would grant members of a religious and/or charitable institution, the right to pursue civil damages, when that institution was negligent and allowed the children to be abused)for a hearing NOW, before this year ends.

2. Call all the other Senators who sit on the Judiciary committee and explain to them why they should support this bill. Why should any institution have immunity when a felony crime has been committed against a child is just OUTRAGEOUS! Please help them understand the effects of sexual abuse and why denying anyone the OPPORTUNITY to civil remedy is to again silence their voice and re-victimize these people.

WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO GETTING A HEARING AND WE MUST STEP UP THE PRESSURE....THEY WON'T DO IT OTHERWISE.

Thanks, Mark


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