People who were sexually abused before Jan. 15 by priests or other employees of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton have until Aug. 15 to file a sexual abuse claim with the bankruptcy court overseeing the case, the diocese announced Tuesday afternoon.
Bishop Stephen Blaire filed for bankruptcy protection in January, citing large awards in sexual abuse lawsuits that have drained the diocesan reserve fund and threatened its general operating budget. The bankruptcy filing, he said, would not affect the individual parishes or schools, which are run by separate corporations. The bankruptcy court will determine what outstanding claims face the diocese and what assets will be spread among the claimants.
According to a press release, the “Sexual Abuse Claim Bar Date” applies to all sexual abuse claims against the diocese before the date of the initial bankruptcy filing in January. Other types of claims face earlier deadlines: General claims must be filed by May 22 and claims by governmental bodies must be filed by July 14.
Those submitting a claim for sexual abuse must use a court-approved form, available from the bankruptcy website set up by attorneys at www.pszjlaw.com/stocktondiocese.html, by calling the creditor’s counsel at (888) 570-6217 or by contacting the diocese’s law firm at (916) 329-7400.
To view the court order establishing the bar date or to see any of the documents filed in this case, visit www.kccllc.net/stocktondiocese.
Bee staff writer Sue Nowicki can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2012.