Q: My best friend was in an abusive marriage for 12 years and has been divorced for 7. She suffered from horrible physical and mental abuse for her entire marriage. The abuse by her ex continued after the marriage, up to a year ago, when she obtained a new order of protection. This is her 3rd order obtained. She was under the impression that you cannot sue for such a matter, but the brief research that I've done, proves her assumption as false. How likely is it that she can find an attorney to represent her? From my reading, it appears that this would be a personal injury case. Should she seek a personal injury attorney? Are there attorneys that may specialize in such cases? If this is a personal injury case, would attorney fees be handled as any other personal injury case, where there are no fees until settled, with the attorney keeping a percentage of the settlement? She has evidence of the abuse and continues to see a therapist, who has said that she would gladly testify as to the deep emotional damage that eduring years of abuse has caused. There has been documented incidents of abuse, both before and after the marriage.
A: David's Answer: She could possibly sue, but intentional torts (which this would be a form of) generally have a 1-year statute of limitations. This means any acts which occurred more than 1 year ago she can't sue upon. There may be remedies she can seek within the divorce or divorce enforcement proceeding. Have her call a Rockland/Westchester Domestic Violence lawyer for more info. - David Bliven, Westchester Domestic Violence Attorney, (www.Blivenlaw.net)
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