North Miami Beach Clergy Abuse Lawyer

May 7, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

There are many churches throughout North Miami Beach, and where there's a large population of churches, clergy abuse becomes a greater risk. A clergy consists of people who carry out religious duties to their church. These parties include deacons, elders, bishops, and priests.

Emotional and physical trauma can come of these events. If you are going through any form of abuse, a North Miami Beach clergy abuse lawyer with Dolman Law Group will assist you with getting the compensation you deserve. We will work on your lawsuit as you take time to heal from the traumatic ordeal.

Forms of Sexual Misconduct by Clergy Members

Sexual abuse comes in many forms. Clergy members can abuse their own level of authority and exercise any type of sexual misconduct, such as:

  • Statutory rape
  • Unwanted touching
  • Lewd or lascivious conduct
  • Child pornography
  • Sexual threats and harassment
  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual assault or battery

Long-term Effects of Clergy Sexual Abuse

When a spiritual leader sexually abuses members of their congregation, they may suffer physical and psychological injuries, which include:

  • Bruises and lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Reproductive health issues
  • Gastrointestinal health issues
  • Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Obesity
  • Chronic pain
  • Criminal tendencies

What to Do if You Are Experiencing Clergy Abuse

Abuse can leave you uncertain of what to do or whom to consult. Your attacker may try to make you feel helpless by threatening or intimidating you into silence. However, you can go to family and friends, receive mental health services, and acquire legal counsel.

Seek Safety

Safety in an abusive situation is a priority, and you should not compromise your well-being. You can call the police and reach out to family members for support. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact a hotline number for sexual abuse survivors and speak to the staff to learn about your next steps.

Consider seeking help from an attorney on our team. They will help you build a strong case against the perpetrator, who may have higher powers in society.

You can hold your abuser accountable for civil damages or monetary compensation. These can cover the cost of expenses you incur after the abuse, including medical expenses, mental health counseling, pain and suffering, lost income, and impaired personal relationships.

No amount of money can take away the pains you may be feeling after experiencing sexual abuse, but compensation can help you access the care and support services you need. We can assist you in ensuring you receive fair value compensation.

How Is a Sexual Abuse Civil Suit Different from a Criminal Case?

A sexual abuse civil suit decides whether the defendant, your assailant, is liable for your injuries. In a civil suit, a judge weighs the evidence and damages stemming from the abuse and then determines whether you can obtain compensation.

A sexual abuse criminal case is when you report the crime to authorities, and there is no form of compensation you can recover. However, there are various forms of punishment for the defendant, such as incarceration, probations, or fines. Law enforcement will investigate what happened and make arrests accordingly.

Can You Sue a Church for Sexual Abuse?

You have the right to file a lawsuit against dioceses, religious leaders, individual clergy members, and religious orders.

How to File a Sexual Abuse Claim Against a Clergy Member or Institution

You can file a lawsuit for clergy abuse that happened many years ago. With the help of an attorney on our team, you can take legal action against your abuser. At Dolman Law Group, we will listen to the details of your experience and advise you on the most suitable course of action.

We will take on your case and allow you to heal from the traumatic experience of clergy abuse. Our sexual abuse lawyers can work to ensure that your abuser takes the responsibility and you receive fair compensation. Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Investigating your clergy abuse claim
  • Offering advice on the best course of action
  • Informing you of the various legal requirements
  • Determining the liable party
  • Determining the monetary value of your case for compensation
  • Representing you in any appeals that the defendant files
  • Obtaining a clergy sexual abuse settlement from the institution
  • Preparing for litigation

Our attorneys will work for you on a contingency fee, meaning you won't have to pay us anything up front or hourly. Our fee will come from the compensation we secure for you.

Criteria for Filing a North Miami Beach Clergy Abuse Claim

Children are among the most vulnerable clergy abuse victims, and they may not report what happened for many years. Still, legislation requires you to meet certain criteria to proceed with your claims. For example, Florida sets deadlines for lawsuits, but they rely on several factors, such as:

  • If you decide to bring civil and/or criminal charges
  • When the abuse happened
  • How old you were when it happened
  • Other circumstances of the abuse

If you were under 16 and suffered sexual battery, Florida Statutes § 95.11(9) dictates that there's no deadline for filing a civil lawsuit. In the event you were a victim of other types of sexual abuse, stricter deadlines may apply.

It's important to consult a lawyer on our team sooner rather than later, as they can help you comply with the deadline. Waiting too long could prompt the court to keep you from seeking compensation and justice.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Assistance with Your Clergy Abuse Case

If you are a victim of clergy abuse within the North Miami Beach area, contact Dolman Law Group for assistance. Our lawyers have the resources to help ensure you receive full compensation against clergy abusers.

We will offer a free consultation with no obligations, and your visit will be confidential.

North Miami Beach Office
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162
(305) 676-8154


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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