Governor Cuomo Issues Statute of Limitations Suspension and All Non-Essential Filings Are Curtailed in Response to COVID-19

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Arent Fox

What Does This Mean For Legal Proceedings in New York State?

On March 20, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.8,[1] modifying all existing New York State statute of limitations laws. Gov. Cuomo ordered a temporary suspension on “any specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding,” which includes, but is not limited to “criminal procedure law, the family court act, the civil practice law and rules” or any other statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation.[2] All time limits are tolled until April 19, 2020.[3]

Statute of limitations requirements are laws that have been put in place in a variety of legal proceedings in order to ensure the timely commencement of legal action and to decrease unreliable judgments. While it is necessary to preserve just outcomes by filing suits within their respective statute of limitations time frames, Gov. Cuomo’s Order is a necessary response to the limited court operations throughout New York State during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Any individual or entity will have an extension until April 19, 2020, to commence any legal action or file any notice or motion in New York.

Driving Privileges and Non-Driver IDs Are Also Extended Under This Order

In the same Order, Gov. Cuomo also extended the validity and expiration period for driver’s licenses, non-driver identification cards, registration certificates for vehicles,[4] and license plates set to expire on or after March 1, 2020.[5]

This means that individuals in New York State who have any of the aforementioned forms of identification or certificates, which are due to expire on or after March 1, 2020, will be able to legally use them until April 19, 2020.

NY Chief Administrative Judge Suspends All Non-Essential Filings

Further expanding upon Gov. Cuomo’s Order, on March 22, 2020, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks ordered [6] that no filings would be accepted except in enumerated essential matters [7].

This is part of a series of Alerts that address residents of New York State who are implicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

[1] Executive Order 202.8, Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency, dated March 20, 2020.

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Includes motor vehicles, trailers, motorcycles, snowmobiles, vessels, limited use vehicles, and all-terrain vehicles.

[5] Executive Order 202.8, supra n.1.

[6] Administrative Order AO/78/20, Temporary Relocation (Revised), dated March 22, 2020.

[7] Essential matters include, but are not limited to: Mental Hygiene Law related matters, emergency applications in guardianship matters, temporary orders of protection, emergency applications related to the coronavirus, emergency Election Law applications, and extreme risk protection orders. See n. 6 for a full list of essential matters.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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