ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK
INDEPENDENT RECONCILIATION AND COMPENSATION
ADDRESSING CLAIMS OF CLERGY SEXUAL
ABUSE OF MINORS
March 1, 2017
PHASE II PROTOCOL
Compensation of Certain Individual Claims
of Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors
This Phase II Independent Reconciliation
and Compensation Program (the “Phase II IRCP”) follows the completion of the
claim submission process of Phase I of the Reconciliation and Compensation
Program previously implemented, and supplements initiatives already undertaken
by the Archdiocese of New York (the “Archdiocese”) to address the problem of
sexual abuse of minors alleged against clergy of the Archdiocese. The Phase
II IRCP is the continuation of a program designed to compensate eligible
victims of abuse.
The Archdiocese invites individuals
to submit complaints alleging sexual abuse by clergy of the Archdiocese, past
or present, that were not previously reported to the Archdiocese. This
Protocol outlines the eligibility criteria requirements and the process for
these individuals to submit and resolve claims alleging such sexual abuse.
The effective date of this Phase II
Protocol is March 1, 2017. Individuals who wish to participate in Phase
II of the IRCP Program may submit a completed Claim Form providing the
Administrators all of the requested information about the claimant and the
circumstances of the alleged abuse. Such information will be maintained in
strict confidence in conjunction with Phase II of this Program except that the
complaint will be forwarded to the local office of the District Attorney by the
Claimant and the Archdiocese for initial review of the allegations.
In addition, the Archdiocese will have the matter investigated by outside
investigators and examined by the Archdiocese Lay Review Board. Individuals
who have a complaint against clergy of the Archdiocese of New York who have
previously registered with the IRCP Program will be sent Program materials
including a copy of this Protocol, the Claim Form and Frequently Asked
Questions. All other interested individuals who allege abuse by clergy of the
Archdiocese of New York may request the Program materials by registering on the
Program website at nyarchdiocese-IRCPSettlementProgram.com or by calling the
Program Call Center at 866 913-3210.
Archdiocese has asked Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille Biros (the
“Administrators”) to design, implement and administer Phase II of the IRCP Program
for the submission, evaluation, and settlement of individual claims of sexual
abuse of a minor. This resulting Protocol begins the second phase of a compensation
program under which the independent Administrators will process and evaluate
claims to determine: a) whether the submitted claim meets the eligibility
requirements and, if so, b) the compensation to be paid such eligible claimant.
in the IRCP is completely voluntary and does not affect any rights the claimant
may have until and unless the claimant accepts the compensation amount and signs
a Release after required consultation with a lawyer. If you are not
represented by an attorney, before signing the Release the IRCP will provide
pro bono legal counseling to you for the sole purpose of advising you
concerning the language and binding nature of the Release.
to this Protocol, the Archdiocese established an Independent Oversight Committee
of three members to oversee the implementation and administration of this Phase
II of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. The Independent
Oversight Committee will work closely with the Administrators during their administration
of this Program. The Independent Oversight Committee has received and approved
this Protocol. The Administrators shall provide periodic summary reports to
the Independent Oversight Committee which will include: the number of claims received,
a summary of the facts of each claim and the eligibility determinations for
each received claim, the amounts offered each claimant and whether or not the
compensation offered the claimant is accepted or rejected. Periodically, and
at the request of the Committee, the Administrators shall meet with the Committee
to discuss certain findings and determinations. The Committee may request to
review the supporting documentation for a particular claimant. The Committee will
also report to the Archdiocese as to implementation and administration of the
IRCP. However, the Committee has no authority to modify or reject any individual
claim determinations governing eligibility and compensation rendered by the
independent Administrators or to act as an appeal board for any claimant.
The following non-exclusive
principles apply to the operation of this Protocol.
The Administrators will evaluate claims submitted with the
required documentation in a prompt and fair manner.
The Program Administrators are independent. Consistent with the
terms and conditions of this Protocol, any final decision rendered by the
Administrators pertaining to an individual claim will be fully binding on the
Archdiocese. The Archdiocese has no authority to reject any final decisions
rendered by the Administrators.
Acceptance of payment from the Administrators will require the claimant
to execute a full Release of liability, as discussed below.
The Compensation Program is administered by Mr. Feinberg and Ms.
Biros, neutral fund Administrators responsible for all decisions relating to
the administration, processing, and evaluation of individual claims submitted
to the Administrators.
The only claimants who may submit
claims to the Administrators during Phase II are: a) individuals who allege
sexual abuse committed by clergy of the Archdiocese of New York, or b) the
Legal Representative (as defined below) of such claimants. The “Legal
Representative” of the individual claimant shall mean: (1) in the case of a
minor, a parent or legal guardian authorized under law to serve as a minor’s
legal representative; (2) in the case of a deceased individual claimant, the
spouse, descendant, relative or other person who is authorized by law to serve
as the decedent’s legal representative; or (3) in the case of an incompetent or
legally incapacitated individual claimant, a person who has submitted proof to
the Administrators that such person has been duly appointed legal
representative in accordance with applicable law.
For an individual claimant to be
eligible for compensation under this Phase II Protocol (“Eligible Claimants”), the
following eligibility requirements must be met:
The claim of clergy sexual abuse must be directed against clergy
of the New York Archdiocese only. Claims for sexual abuse directed against a
member of a religious order or clergy of any other archdiocese are not eligible
for compensation under this Program.
The individual claimant must not have previously entered into a
settlement agreement resolving the claim of clergy sexual abuse against a member
of the clergy of the Archdiocese. Such a claimant is ineligible pursuant to
In appropriate cases, such individual complaint may have already been
reported by the claimant to the appropriate Office of the District Attorney for
review. If not, submission of all individual claims to the District Attorney is
a prerequisite for compensation pursuant to this Program. However, a finding
of criminal liability by the District Attorney is not required as a
precondition for compensation pursuant to this Program.
The Administrators must find that the facts and circumstances of
the claim of clergy sexual abuse demonstrate that the allegations are credible and
claimants provide sufficient corroboration and proof to justify the payment of
compensation. Examples of the types of corroborating documentation required are:
medical records for counseling or psychological services for issues associated
with the abuse; contemporaneous correspondence or communication (letters,
emails, etc.) with family, friends, the Church or Parish, legal authorities
(including findings and conclusions reached by the appropriate Office of the
District Attorney), etc., regarding the abuse. The lack of sufficient
corroboration and proof of the allegations of clergy sexual abuse will be taken
into account by the Administrators in determining the credibility of the claim
and eligibility for compensation.
The Administrators must determine, in their sole discretion,
after reviewing all of the information submitted as required herein, that the
alleged clergy sexual abuse of a minor is likely to have occurred.
Whether or not an individual claimant is determined by the
Administrators to be eligible for compensation pursuant to this Protocol, each
individual claimant may voluntarily request and receive pastoral counseling,
and/or psychological counseling at the option of the individual claimant. Such
counseling will be paid by the Archdiocese.
METHODOLOGIES FOR CALCULATING COMPENSATION
Acceptance or Rejection
Among the factors the Administrators will consider in evaluating
individual claims are the following:
The extent to which the individual claimant is able to document
and corroborate the nature, frequency and time of the alleged sexual abuse. Unsupported
allegations of alleged sexual abuse without sufficient corroboration and proof
weigh against acceptance of the claim.
Whether or not the allegations of sexual abuse are consistent
with allegations made by other individuals concerning known recidivist perpetrators.
Whether or not, in evaluating all of the facts and circumstances
supporting the allegations, i.e., the context of the claim, there is sufficient
circumstantial evidence to find eligibility and provide a designated level of
Whether or not contemporaneous notification of the alleged abuse
was made by the individual claimant to church officials, law enforcement
authorities, parents, friends and/or others.
Whether or not there exists medical or counseling records
relevant to the alleged abuse.
Whether or not there exists any information and/or pertinent
findings offered by the appropriate Office of the District Attorney.
Whether or not the Administrators find the claims of the
individual to be credible after a complete review of all relevant documentation
provided by the claimant, the Archdiocese, and any doctors and psychiatrists
retained by the individual claimant.
Amount of Compensation
Among the factors the Administrators will consider in
determining the amount of compensation to be paid to any Eligible Claimant, are
The nature, extent and frequency of the sexual abuse alleged by
the individual claimant.
Whether or not the individual claimant alleges aggravating
circumstances e.g., age of the claimant, severity of abuse, location of abuse,
threats of physical harm and/or retaliation, significant, verifiable and
life-altering psychological damage, etc.
The credibility of the claimant based upon all of the facts and
Pursuant to this Protocol, the Administrators – in their sole
discretion – shall determine the appropriate compensation to be offered each
eligible individual claimant.
All individuals submitting a claim pursuant to this Protocol must submit
a completed Claim Form as provided by the Administrators. Each claimant must
submit the documentation requested on the Claim Form, and any other
corroborating information sufficient both to substantiate the Claim and satisfy
Protocol requirements, including eligibility requirements, and to allow the Administrators
to review, process, and evaluate the submitted claim.
If the claim is being presented by an attorney or a legal representative,
then the attorney or legal representative will be responsible for submitting
the necessary documentation relating to the represented claimant and the
Administrators will communicate solely with the attorney or legal
representative. If so represented, claimants must provide the Administrators
with a retention agreement signed by both the claimant and the attorney. Legal
representatives must supply proof of representative capacity – such as a power
of attorney, guardianship, appointment as guardian or attorney ad litem,
custodial parent, or the equivalent – as is required to establish authority to
act in a representative capacity under the law of the resident state of the
decedent, minor, or incompetent or legally incapacitated individual.
Specific documentation and proof requirements will be defined on the Claim
Form. Additional documentation may be required at the discretion of the
FILING FOR COMPENSATION
Equal Access and Fair Adjudications in the Claims Process
All claimants will be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness,
without regard to race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, religion,
gender, or disability. The Administrators will manage the process so that all
claimants can equally access the Program’s claim submission process so that
claims will be adjudicated fairly. Individuals with disabilities will be given
the opportunity to effectively communicate their claims and to request special
process accommodations to the Administrators. Accommodations will be made for
individuals with language barriers to ensure that they will have meaningful
access to the process and to the Program.
Process and Procedures
Individual claimants must file a pertinent Claim Form. This Phase II Protocol
will be available on the Program website to all interested parties beginning on
March 1, 2017, the effective date of this Protocol. Claim Forms and other
relevant Program information will be sent to each potentially eligible claimant
(both English and Spanish versions) who previously registered with the Phase II
Program alleging abuse by clergy of the Archdiocese. The Claim Forms should be
completed and submitted to the Administrators postmarked no later than July 31,
2017. Individuals who have not previously registered for Phase II who believe they
may have a valid Phase II claim should register via the Program website to
request a copy of the Claim Form and other relevant Program materials. Questions
regarding the completion of the Claim Form should be sent via email to the Administrators.
(Contact information will be provided on the Claim Form and on the Program’s website.)
The Administrators will maintain and make available to claimants a list of
Frequently Asked Questions and responses. Claimants will mail the completed Claim
Forms via overnight courier (a pre-paid courier voucher will be included in
each Claimant’s packet) to the Program Administrators at the following address:
The Law Offices of Kenneth R.
1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite
Washington, DC 20004
In order for the claim to be
eligible for payment, all claimants must voluntarily consent to participate in
the Program and agree to be bound by its terms, but shall not release any legal
rights until such compensation is determined, the claimant is notified, the
claimant accepts the compensation and executes a binding Release. The Administrators
will work directly with all claimants as reasonably requested to make sure that
all claims are submitted by the July 31, 2017 deadline.
The Administrators cannot provide tax or legal advice to those
receiving payments pursuant to this Protocol. The Administrators recommend
consultation with a tax advisor concerning any questions regarding tax
liability for payments pursuant to this Protocol.
Due Process Procedures and the Right to be Heard
Individual claimants or officials of the Archdiocese may request a
face-to-face personal meeting or telephone meeting with the Administrators prior
to their making a determination pursuant to this Protocol. At any time during
this process, Individual claimants may also request to meet with a Victim’s
Assistance Coordinator of the Archdiocese. Both the individual claimant and the
Archdiocese reserve the right to submit to the Administrators any information
deemed relevant to the Administrators’ evaluation and determination of any individual
claim before the final processing, determination and calculation of the claim.
Meetings will be scheduled at mutually convenient times and locations. Such a
requested meeting will not serve to alter the eligibility, process, or
documentation requirements set forth in this Protocol. Requests to meet with
the Administrators should be sent by email to the Administrators. (Contact
information is on the Claim Form and on the Program website.) In addition, the
Administrators may request a meeting with a claimant or his or her
representative at a reasonable mutually convenient location.
Incomplete or Deficient Claims
If a claimant submits an incomplete or deficient claim, e.g., the
claimant failed to include required documentation or failed to sign the Claim
Form, a deficiency notification will be sent to the claimant and a
representative of the Program will informally work with the claimant in an
effort to cure any such deficiencies.
Confidential Notification of Program Decision
The Administrators will confidentially send the claimant the following
The Administrators’ decision regarding the claim.
The settlement amount offered pursuant to this Protocol; and
A Release to be signed by the claimant if the claimant accepts the
Settlement offers pursuant to this Protocol shall be valid for 60
days, after which they are null and void.
Payments will be issued by the Administrators following the final
processing of an Eligible Claimant’s Claim Form and any requested due process
hearing. The Administrators will authorize the payment, by check or electronic
funds transfer, to each Eligible Claimant. Checks will be sent to claimants by
the Administrators via overnight courier service.
Pursuant to this Protocol, this entire Phase II Independent Reconciliation
and Compensation Program is deemed to be confidential. By filing a claim with
the IRCP, the claimant and his or her representative agree that information
submitted by a claimant and the Archdiocese pursuant to this Program will be
used and disclosed only for the following purposes:
Processing the claimant’s claim for compensation.
Administering the Program, including the prevention of fraud.
The protection of children under the Safe Environment Program.
All confidentiality requirements are subject to law, regulation or
Participating Claimants may - - at their voluntary and sole option - -
disclose such information regarding the claims process and/or the compensation
determination of the claim and any other information pertaining to such claim.
QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES
For the purpose of detecting and preventing the payment of fraudulent
claims, and for the purpose of assuring accurate and appropriate payments to
claimants, the Administrators will implement procedures to:
Verify and authenticate claims.
Analyze claim submissions to detect inconsistencies, irregularities, and
duplication including whether the Claimant has provided sufficient
corroboration and proof.
The Administrators shall institute all necessary measures designed to
evaluate claims review procedures, the accuracy of submissions and the accuracy
False or Fraudulent Claims
Each individual claimant will sign the Claim Form at the time of
submission, stating that the claimant certifies – under threat of perjury – that
the information provided in the Claim Form is true and accurate to the best of the
claimant’s knowledge, and that the claimant understands that false statements
or claims made in connection with such submission may result in fines, imprisonment,
and/or any other remedy available by law. Suspicious claims will be forwarded
to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for possible
investigation and prosecution.
In order for the claim to be
eligible for payment, all claimants must voluntarily consent to participate in
the Compensation Program and agree to be bound by its terms, including all
requirements pertaining to privacy and confidentiality. No such Agreement will
be enforceable until the claimant is made aware of the settlement amount.
Until a Final Release is executed, each individual claimant retains all rights
under the law.
By submitting a claim under this
Protocol, a claimant is seeking to resolve all claims against all responsible
parties relating to allegations of sexual abuse involving the Archdiocese of
New York. If a claimant chooses to accept a final payment pursuant to this
Protocol, the claimant will be required to sign a full Release, in a form
satisfactory to the Archdiocese, of all past and future claims against any
party relating to such allegations of sexual abuse. Before signing such a Release,
the individual claimant will be required to consult with an attorney selected
by the claimant, or if the claimant so requests, the Administrators shall
provide an attorney to offer free pro bono legal counseling to the claimant for
the sole purpose of advising the claimant concerning the language and binding
nature of the Release. The Release will waive any rights the claimant or
his/her heirs, descendants, legatees and beneficiaries may have against the
Archdiocese of New York or any potentially responsible party to assert any
claims relating to such allegations of sexual abuse, to file an individual
legal action relating to such allegations, or to participate in any legal
action associated with such allegations.