Judge won't extend deadline for archdiocese bankruptcy claims

Updated 2:45 p.m. | Posted 1:04 p.m.

A federal judge on Thursday rejected abuse victims' request to extend a deadline for bankruptcy court claims against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The deadline remains Monday.

Explore the full investigation Clergy abuse, cover-up and crisis in the Twin Cities Catholic church

The creditors committee in the archdiocese bankruptcy case, composed entirely of clergy sex abuse victims, had wanted Judge Robert Kressel to push the deadline back to May 2016, contending that the archdiocese had provided inadequate notice of the Aug. 3 deadline and that victims might need more time to file.

The panel also argued that pushing back the deadline would expedite a settlement and provide more insurance money for abuse victims.

As of late Wednesday, more than 400 creditors had filed claims. Abuse victims accounted for more than 250 of them.

The judge said extensive notice of the cut-off date had been given by the archdiocese and through the media and other channels.

Bankruptcy law would make it possible for someone somehow unaware of the deadline to file a late claim, he added.

Abuse victim attorney Jeff Anderson said he was disappointed that the archdiocese opposed an extension.

"If they cared a damn about those survivors and giving them a chance to get justice, they would have gone with us in extending this deadline," he said.

Archdiocese attorney Richard Anderson said an extension was unnecessary and would have slowed resolution of the bankruptcy, increased legal fees and created confusion.

"We've made extraordinary efforts and have provided an extraordinary level of notice," he said.

The archdiocese says it has spent $200,000 on newspaper ads and other efforts to publicize the claim filing cut-off date.

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