Coronavirus Causes Governor to Toll the Statute of Limitations in New York
The Coronavirus is impacting all aspects of our lives, and after an Order issued by Governor Cuomo on March 20, 2020, this includes temporary limitations on which lawsuits can be filed and when. By way of background, on March 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo declared a State disaster emergency for the State of New York. In furtherance of this declaration, on March 20, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order 202.8, mandating that non-essential cases are not filed and tolling the statute of limitations for 30 days on all matters. Subsequently, Chief Administrative Judge Marks issued an Order explaining what cases are and are not essential for purposes of filing.
The impacts of the Orders are as follows:
A. New York Courts will only be handling “essential matters” between March 20th and April 19th 2020. According to Judge Marks, what is deemed an essential matter is subject to ongoing review but currently encompasses:
Note that if you have a matter in one of the courts listed above, your case is not necessarily deemed essential unless it is specifically addressed above. Also, there may be cases with extenuating circumstances that a judge may deem essential. It is important to reach out to your attorney to clarify where your case stands.
B. Plaintiffs will have additional time to file claims which would have tolled or expired between March 20th and April 19th 2020. For any claims that would have expired during this time period, plaintiffs will now have until April 19, 2020 to file their claims. For example, a claim that would have expired on April 18, 2020 will now expire on April 19, 2020. The Order does not explicitly extend the statute of limitations period for claims that include but expire outside of this window.
While the end date of this Order is currently April 19, 2020, this may be subject to change depending on the further impact of the Coronavirus in New York State. Mackenzie Hughes LLP will provide additional updates as new information becomes available.
By: Stephen T. Helmer and Megan K. Thomas