One of the most challenging aspects of filing a claim against the Mormon Church for sexual abuse is readying yourself to do so. Taking action against your Church community may be difficult and feel like an act of disloyalty—especially if you wish to remain a part of the Church.
Often, one of the biggest hurdles to striking this delicate balance is maintaining your anonymity. Many people don’t want their sexual abuse to become public knowledge during a lawsuit, and for good reason.
The good news is that there are certain cases where you may file a claim under a pseudonym, preventing your legal name from being attached to your case.
This option provides a path towards justice while allowing you to remain anonymous: you seek justice against those responsible for your abuse, while turning to the support of your faith community during this emotionally challenging process.
How to File an Anonymous Claim Against the Mormon Church
Cases must meet certain criteria to proceed with your anonymity intact. While Rule 10 of the Federal Rules for Civil Procedure states that all parties in a case must be named, the precedent set by Doe v. Stegall in 1981 and Doe v. Frank in 1992 provides a path for plaintiffs to use pseudonyms.
Plaintiffs whose cases would reveal information of “the utmost intimacy” may have their cases proceed with anonymity. It is ultimately up to the judge to decide, and you must provide your real name and information to the judge prior to their decision. If they decide that your case can proceed anonymously, your information will not be made public.
It is not uncommon for sexual abuse victims to request this action, as these types of cases can be emotionally painful both during and after the case. But under anonymity, you can remain active in your church community without fear of members retaliating due to your case.
However, it’s worth noting that all of these laws vary by state. The best way to understand your anonymity rights for certain is to talk with a qualified attorney.
The First Step of Filing a Claim Against the Mormon Church
If you’re ready to begin exploring your rights as it pertains to filing a claim against the Mormon Church, contact Hurley McKenna & Mertz.
Hurley McKenna & Mertz has decades of experience fighting for the justice of sexual abuse survivors. We represent more than 4,000 victims who have suffered abuse under the supervision of the Mormon/LDS Church, Catholic Church, and Boy Scouts of America.
We’re here to advise you of your rights and to simplify the process of filing a claim. Contact us today for a completely free—and confidential—consultation.