Survivors who were sexually abused by the Oakland Catholic Diocese’s priests and clergy have until Sept. 11 to document their claims in federal court.
Claims and other supplemental information can be submitted electronically using the online filing system at www.kccllc.net/RCBO.
The deadline arrives four months after the diocese of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland, which serves more than 550,000 Catholics across the East Bay, first filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court in May.
So far, thousands of claims of clergy sex abuse — defined by the court as any interactions of a sexual nature, both consensual and nonconsensual — have prompted dioceses in Santa Rosa, San Francisco and Oakland to file for Chapter 11 protection in 2023. The Diocese of San Diego has announced plans to file later this year.
By filing bankruptcy, the Diocese of Oakland avoids going to trial for each of the 330 individual civil lawsuits that were filed against its clergy — including those alleging sexual abuses dating back decades.
The Sept. 11 deadline is currently the last opportunity for survivors to confidentially share claims of abuse against the church and its members, including a chance to receive any settlements. Except in extreme circumstances, the Diocese’s liability for any other existing claims is extinguished after bankruptcy court finalizes this case.
Anyone who experienced sexual abuse should submit claims with an official “410” form and any supplemental information they wish, regardless of whether or not they ever reported the abuse to anyone or filed a lawsuit, according to filing requirements.
The court was also clear that survivor’s current ages and the length of time that has passed since the sexual abuse took place do not matter for the Sept. 11 deadline. Proofs of claim can not be faxed or emailed. If you do not have an attorney, direct any questions to claims agents by calling 1-888-733-1425.
There are no guarantees new claims will be approved, and church attorneys may more heavily scrutinize allegations that have only come to light now — especially after legislators opened a three-year window for Californians to share allegations, which closed at the end of 2022.
In July, Catholic leaders in Oakland posted a notice about the filing deadline on official church and school websites, as well as helped send letters directly to people who they believe experienced sexual abuse. However, it’s unclear how widely the news was shared outside internal church channels.
The filing deadline for claims in Santa Rosa is Oct. 20.