Maness v. Gordon

[CRIMINAL PROCEDURE]

In Maness v. Gordon,[1] the supreme court held that a claim based on repressed memory syndrome must be supported by expert testimony to invoke the discovery rule and toll the statute of limitations.[2] Maness alleged that the defendants had sexually assaulted him as a child in the 1970s and that he had forgotten the incidents due to repressed memory syndrome.[3] Nevertheless, Maness allegedly recovered his memory and discovered the incidents in 2007, and he filed a claim against the defendants shortly thereafter.[4] The lower court held that Maness’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations and that he could not prove his repressed memory syndrome claim without expert testimony.[5] On appeal, Maness argued that the discovery rule tolled the statute of limitations until he recovered his memory and discovered the incidents.[6] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that his claim’s need for expert testimony was supported by other courts and Alaska case law which require expert testimony to prove medical or legal malpractice.[7]  The court also reasoned that Maness misapplied a case which held that expert testimony was not necessary for the claim of recovered memory of sexual abuse but also stated that expert testimony was necessary to toll the statute of limitations.[8] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that requiring a claim based on repressed memory syndrome must be supported by expert testimony to invoke the discovery rule and toll the statute of limitations. [9]

[1] 325 P.3d 522 (Alaska 2014).

[2] Id. at 526

[3] Id. at 524

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 524–525

[6] Id. at 526

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

Maness v. Gordon

[CRIMINAL PROCEDURE]

In Maness v. Gordon,[1] the supreme court held that a claim based on repressed memory syndrome must be supported by expert testimony to invoke the discovery rule and toll the statute of limitations.[2] Maness alleged that the defendants had sexually assaulted him as a child in the 1970s and that he had forgotten the incidents due to repressed memory syndrome.[3] Nevertheless, Maness allegedly recovered his memory and discovered the incidents in 2007, and he filed a claim against the defendants shortly thereafter.[4] The lower court held that Maness’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations and that he could not prove his repressed memory syndrome claim without expert testimony.[5] On appeal, Maness argued that the discovery rule tolled the statute of limitations until he recovered his memory and discovered the incidents.[6] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that his claim’s need for expert testimony was supported by other courts and Alaska case law which require expert testimony to prove medical or legal malpractice.[7]  The court also reasoned that Maness misapplied a case which held that expert testimony was not necessary for the claim of recovered memory of sexual abuse but also stated that expert testimony was necessary to toll the statute of limitations.[8] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that requiring a claim based on repressed memory syndrome must be supported by expert testimony to invoke the discovery rule and toll the statute of limitations. [9]

[1] 325 P.3d 522 (Alaska 2014).

[2] Id. at 526

[3] Id. at 524

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 524–525

[6] Id. at 526

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.