PRINTER'S NO. 604
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
540
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY KEARNEY, COLLETT, MUTH, SANTARSIERO, L. WILLIAMS,
BLAKE, BREWSTER, COSTA, DINNIMAN, FARNESE, FONTANA, HUGHES,
LEACH, SCHWANK, STREET, TARTAGLIONE AND A. WILLIAMS,
APRIL 10, 2019
REFERRED TO JUDICIARY, APRIL 10, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Titles 23 (Domestic Relations) and 42 (Judiciary and
Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, in child protective services, further providing for
penalties; in limitation of time, further providing for six
months limitation, for infancy, insanity or imprisonment, for
no limitation applicable and for other offenses; in
particular rights and immunities, providing for contracts or
agreements for nondisclosure of certain conduct; and, in
matters affecting government units, further providing for
exceptions to sovereign immunity and for exceptions to
governmental immunity.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 6319(b) of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
§ 6319. Penalties.
* * *
(b) Continuing course of action.--[If a]
(1) A person's conduct under this section constitutes a
continuing course of action if either of the following apply:
(i) A person's willful failure to report a suspected
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
case of child abuse under [subsection (a)] this section
continues while the person knows or has reasonable cause
to believe the child is [actively] being subjected to
child abuse[, the person commits a misdemeanor of the
first degree, except that if the child abuse constitutes
a felony of the first degree or higher, the person
commits a felony of the third degree.].
(ii) A person or official required by this chapter
to report a case of suspected child abuse or to make a
referral to the appropriate authorities knows or has
reasonable cause to believe a person's willful failure
under this section may subject a child or additional
children to child abuse.
(2) An offense under this subsection is a felony of the
third degree, except that if the child abuse constitutes a
felony of the first degree or higher, the person commits a
felony of the second degree.
* * *
Section 2. Section 5522 of Title 42 is amended by adding a
subsection to read:
§ 5522. Six months limitation.
* * *
(c) Exception.--This section shall not apply to any civil
action or proceeding brought under section 8522(b)(10) (relating
to exceptions to sovereign immunity) or 8542(b)(9) (relating to
exceptions to governmental immunity).
Section 3. Section 5533(b)(2)(i) of Title 42 is amended and
the section is amended by adding subsections to read:
§ 5533. Infancy, insanity or imprisonment.
* * *
20190SB0540PN0604 - 2 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
(b) Infancy.--
* * *
(2) (i) If an individual entitled to bring a civil
action arising from childhood sexual abuse is under 18
years of age at the time the cause of action accrues, the
individual [shall have a period of 12 years after
attaining 18 years of age in which to] may commence an
action for damages regardless of whether the individual
files a criminal complaint regarding the childhood sexual
abuse or the age of the individual.
* * *
(c) Postinfancy action.--
(1) If an individual entitled to bring a civil action
arising from sexual abuse is 18 years of age or older at the
time the cause of action accrues, the individual may commence
an action for damages regardless of whether the individual
files a criminal complaint regarding the sexual abuse or the
age of the individual.
(2) For the purpose of this paragraph, the term "sexual
abuse" shall include actions that constitute an offense under
the following provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to crimes
and offenses):
Section 3011(a) (relating to trafficking in
individuals).
Section 3012 (relating to involuntary servitude) as
it relates to sexual servitude.
Section 3121 (relating to rape).
Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse).
Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).
20190SB0540PN0604 - 3 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Section 3124.2 (relating to institutional sexual
assault).
Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent
assault).
Section 4302 (relating to incest).
(d) Revival of claims.--The following shall apply:
(1) Notwithstanding subsection (b) or any other
provision of law, for an individual entitled to bring a civil
action arising from childhood sexual abuse where the
limitation period has expired, the individual shall have an
additional period of two years from the effective date of
this subsection to commence an action.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (c) or any other
provision of law, for an individual entitled to bring a civil
action arising from sexual abuse where the limitation period
has expired, the individual shall have an additional period
of two years from the effective date of this subsection to
commence an action.
Section 4. Section 5551 of Title 42 is amended by adding
paragraphs to read:
§ 5551. No limitation applicable.
A prosecution for the following offenses may be commenced at
any time:
* * *
(7) An offense under any of the following provisions of
18 Pa.C.S. (relating to crimes and offenses), or a conspiracy
or solicitation to commit an offense under any of the
following provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. if the offense results
from the conspiracy or solicitation, if the victim was under
18 years of age at the time of the offense:
20190SB0540PN0604 - 4 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Section 3011(b) (relating to trafficking in
individuals).
Section 3012 (relating to involuntary servitude) as
it relates to sexual servitude.
Section 3121 (relating to rape).
Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual
assault).
Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse).
Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).
Section 3124.2 (relating to institutional sexual
assault).
Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent
assault).
Section 4302 (relating to incest).
(8) An offense under any of the following provisions of
18 Pa.C.S., or a conspiracy or solicitation to commit an
offense under any of the following provisions of 18 Pa.C.S.
if the offense results from the conspiracy or solicitation,
if the victim was 18 years of age or older at the time of the
offense:
Section 3011(a).
Section 3012 as it relates to sexual servitude.
Section 3121.
Section 3123.
Section 3124.1.
Section 3124.2.
Section 3125.
Section 4302.
Section 5. Section 5552(b.1) and (c)(3) of Title 42 are
20190SB0540PN0604 - 5 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
amended to read:
§ 5552. Other offenses.
* * *
(b.1) Major sexual offenses.--[A] Except as provided in
section 5551(7) or (8) (relating to no limitation applicable), a
prosecution for any of the following offenses under Title 18
must be commenced within 12 years after it is committed:
[Section 3121 (relating to rape).
Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).
Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse).
Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).
Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).
Section 4302 (relating to incest).]
Section 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).
(c) Exceptions.--If the period prescribed in subsection (a),
(b) or (b.1) has expired, a prosecution may nevertheless be
commenced for:
* * *
(3) Any sexual offense committed against a minor who is
less than 18 years of age any time up to the later of the
period of limitation provided by law after the minor has
reached 18 years of age or the date the minor reaches 50
years of age. As used in this paragraph, the term "sexual
offense" means a crime under the following provisions of
Title 18 (relating to crimes and offenses)[:
Section 3011(b) (relating to trafficking in
individuals).
Section 3012 (relating to involuntary servitude) as
it relates to sexual servitude.
20190SB0540PN0604 - 6 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Section 3121 (relating to rape).
Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual
assault).
Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse).
Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).
Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent
assault).] or a conspiracy or solicitation to commit an
offense under any of the following provisions of Title 18
if the offense results from the conspiracy or
solicitation:
Section 3126 (relating to indecent assault).
Section 3127 (relating to indecent exposure).
[Section 4302 (relating to incest).]
Section 4304 (relating to endangering welfare of
children).
Section 6301 (relating to corruption of minors).
Section 6312(b) (relating to sexual abuse of
children).
Section 6320 (relating to sexual exploitation of
children).
* * *
Section 6. Title 42 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 8316.2. Contracts or agreements for nondisclosure of certain
conduct.
(a) Prohibition.--Except as provided in subsection (b), an
individual may not enter into, revise or amend an agreement,
contract, settlement or similar instrument that includes a
provision that:
(1) prohibits or attempts to prohibit the disclosure of
20190SB0540PN0604 - 7 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
the name of an individual suspected of sexual abuse;
(2) suppresses or attempts to suppress information
relevant to an investigation by law enforcement authorities
into a claim of sexual abuse;
(3) impairs or attempts to impair the ability of an
individual to report a claim of sexual abuse to law
enforcement authorities; or
(4) impairs or attempts to impair the ability of an
individual to publicly disclose a claim of sexual abuse.
(b) Exception.--An individual may enter into, revise or
amend an agreement, contract, settlement or similar instrument
to include a provision prohibited under subsection (a)(1) or (4)
if the individual who was the victim of sexual abuse requests a
provision be included.
(c) Void provisions.--A provision of an agreement, contract,
settlement or similar instrument that is contrary to this
section shall be void and unenforceable.
(d) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Childhood sexual abuse." Conduct that is subject to 23
Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to child protective services) and is
directed toward or against a child, notwithstanding the age of
the child.
"Law enforcement authorities." An individual or entity
charged with the enforcement of Federal, State or municipal law.
"Sexual abuse." As defined in section 5533(c)(2) (relating to
infancy, insanity or imprisonment). The term shall include
childhood sexual abuse.
Section 7. Sections 8522(b) and 8542(b) of Title 42 are
20190SB0540PN0604 - 8 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
amended by adding paragraphs to read:
§ 8522. Exceptions to sovereign immunity.
* * *
(b) Acts which may impose liability.--The following acts by
a Commonwealth party may result in the imposition of liability
on the Commonwealth and the defense of sovereign immunity shall
not be raised to claims for damages caused by:
* * *
(10) Sexual abuse.--Conduct which constitutes an offense
enumerated under section 5551(7) or (8) (relating to no
limitation applicable) if the injuries to the plaintiff were
caused by actions or omissions of the Commonwealth party
which constitute negligence.
§ 8542. Exceptions to governmental immunity.
* * *
(b) Acts which may impose liability.--The following acts by
a local agency or any of its employees may result in the
imposition of liability on a local agency:
* * *
(9) Sexual abuse.--Conduct which constitutes an offense
enumerated under section 5551(7) or (8) (relating to no
limitation applicable) if the injuries to the plaintiff were
caused by actions or omissions of the local agency which
constitute negligence.
* * *
Section 8. The provisions of this act are severable. If any
provision of this act is held invalid, the invalidity shall not
affect other provisions or applications of this act which can be
given effect without the invalid provision or application.
Section 9. This act shall apply as follows:
20190SB0540PN0604 - 9 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
(1) The amendment or addition of 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 5551(7)
and (8) and 5552(b.1) and (c)(3) shall not be applied to
revive an action which has been barred by an existing statute
of limitations on the effective date of this section.
(2) The addition of the following provisions shall be
applied retroactively to civil actions, including to revive
an action which was barred by a statute of limitations prior
to the effective date of this section:
(i) 42 Pa.C.S. § 5522(c).
(ii) 42 Pa.C.S. § 5533(d).
(iii) 42 Pa.C.S. § 8522(b)(10).
(iv) 42 Pa.C.S. § 8542(b)(9).
(3) The amendment of 42 Pa.C.S. § 5533(b)(2)(i) shall
apply retroactively to civil actions where the limitation
period has not expired as of the effective date of this
section.
Section 10. This act shall take effect as follows:
(1) This section shall take effect immediately.
(2) Section 9(2) and (3) of this act shall take effect
in six months.
(3) The remainder of this act shall take effect in 60
days.
20190SB0540PN0604 - 10 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22