On October 31, 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 52, which effectively suspends the statute of limitations for any claim where the time to file such claim expired on October 26, 2012 or later, until further notice. The Governor suspends, among other laws, Section 201 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”), which governs virtually all statutes of limitations for civil claims in New York. The Governor has exercised this authority pursuant to Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law of New York, which is only available where, as here, a New York State disaster emergency has already been declared. Under normal circumstances, even a New York State court cannot extend the time within which an action must be commenced under Section 201 of the CPLR.
The Governor additionally includes a catch-all provision, which reads:
I hereby temporarily suspend and modify, for the period from the date of this Executive Order until further notice, any other statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule or regulation or part thereof, establishing limitations of time for the filing or service of any legal action, notice or other process or proceeding that the courts lack authority to extend through the exercise of discretion, where any limitation of time concludes during the period commencing from the date that the disaster emergency was declared pursuant to Executive Order Number 47, issued on October 26, 2012, until further notice.
Also of note is the Governor’s suspension of Section 5513 of the CPLR, which governs the time within which appeals must be taken. Normally, a notice of appeal or motion for permission to appeal must be taken within thirty days of the filing and service of a document known as the “notice of entry” – a document informing your adversaries and the court that a decision or judgment rendered by the judge has been entered with the court clerk. A notice of cross-appeal or cross-motion for leave to appeal must normally be taken within ten days of the filing of the original notice or motion. Both of these deadlines have been suspended until further notice.