Rochester Diocese’s bankruptcy case unaffected by CVA extension
The deadline for filing proofs of claim in the Diocese of Rochester’s federal bankruptcy case remains Aug. 13, 2020, and is not subject to a recent extension of New York state’s Child Victims Act through January 2021.
On Feb. 25, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul R. Warren set the Aug. 13 deadline — known as the “bar date” — for claims to be filed against the Rochester Diocese. That date coincides with the original end of a one-year window established by the Child Victims Act for the filing of sexual-abuse claims that previously were prohibited by statutes of limitations. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the CVA into law in early 2019.
The governor announced May 8 that he was extending the one-year CVA window until Jan. 14, 2021, due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said resulting limitations in court services have hampered claimants’ abilities to file claims and effectively consult with attorneys in a timely fashion.
An attorney representing the unsecured creditors’ committee in the Rochester Diocese’s bankruptcy case cited similar concerns in an April 13 statement filed with the bankruptcy court. However, diocesan spokesman Doug Mandelaro noted that federal bankruptcy courts have remained active throughout the pandemic and that the electronic claims process has continued without interruption.
The Diocese of Rochester filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Sept. 12, 2019. At the time, Bishop Salvatore R. Matano noted that the diocese would be financially unable to satisfy all the claims filed against it under the CVA.
In a May 14 statement, the diocese noted that “The bar date for the diocesan case, set by federal bankruptcy Judge Warren, remains Aug. 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., and is not subject to the recent order by the Governor extending the CVA. We have extensively publicized this date and will continue to do so.”
Mandelaro noted that in compliance with Judge Warren’s Feb. 25 order the diocese has publicized the Aug. 13 filing deadline as well as availability of “proof of claim” forms, which must be submitted for the bankruptcy court’s review by individuals wishing to make claims.
The diocese has circulated information about the deadline and claims forms through a mailing to more than 100,000 households; notices in the Catholic Courier, daily newspapers in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo, and USA Today; on the diocesan website; on parish websites and bulletins across the Diocese of Rochester’s 12 counties; and on diocesan, Catholic Courier and parish social media accounts.
Proof of claim forms — a general form and another for claims of sexual abuse — are available at https://case.stretto.com/rochesterdioceseand must be filed by Aug. 13. Assistance with the process of filing a claim is available by calling 855-347-3773.