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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    1

    Default Can You Sue a Stepparent for Childhood Mental Abuse

    My name is Anthony, from Michigan, and I'm 20. I have been diagnosed with bipolar 2 and anxiety. My step father mentally condition me to hate myself, he controlled my mom into abandoning me and my sister for 2 years from age 15-17, he and my mom pulled me out of school in the 7th grade to be their full time babysitter and house maid, he controlled everything I did until now because he wouldn't allow me to get an education to try to get a job, than because I didn't have a job to try to help with bills and had no education is divorcing my mom because she refused to leave me on the streets even though that is my current situation, he constantly belittled me into thinking I'd never accomplish anything, he drove me and my sister into contemplating suicide multiple times (and handed me his gun to see if I'd actually do it). So I was wondering if now that I am grown and out of his grasp if I could sue him for this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,132

    Default Re: Could I Sue My Step-Dad for My Mental Distress/Illness from Mental Abuse

    Short answer - No.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,463

    Default Re: Could I Sue My Step-Dad for My Mental Distress/Illness from Mental Abuse

    Quote Quoting Aj1730
    View Post
    So I was wondering if now that I am grown and out of his grasp if I could sue him for this.
    I wouldn’t completely rule out that you might have had some kind of claim against your step-father or mother for this depending on the details of the alleged mental abuse you suffered. But it would be a very difficult claim to make. First, Michigan has a statute of limitation of three years to file a personal injury claim (which is the type of claim involved here). That time starts to run from the date the injury was incurred, i.e. the date of the abuse you alleged to have taken place. What this means is that you’d no longer be able to sue for those things that occurred more than three years ago. Michigan does have a statute that allows you to sue for personal injury suffered while a minor for a year after reaching age 18. But since you are now age 20 that provision doesn't help you bring in things that occurred more than three years ago. At age 18 you were no longer under the control of your mother and could leave home, so it’s likely that you’d not recover for anything that occurred after you turned 18. This leaves a small period of time then from sometime when you were age 17 to when you turned 18 that might be actionable. Then there will be the issue of whether what he did during that time rises to a level that goes beyond bad parenting and into actual abuse. Finally, there is the problem of proving damages suffered from this. Feel free to consult a personal injury lawyer in Michigan to go over the details of what happened and see if there is anything you can do. But if you are going to do it, make that consultation now because your time is running out. Just be aware it’s a real long shot here based on what you described.

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