Gov. Cuomo announced during a press conference on Friday that New York State would be extending the CVA one-year “look back window” until January 14, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (The announcement can be found here.) Then, late Friday night, he issued Executive Order 202.29, which “temporarily” extended the window for an additional five months (i.e., until January 14, 2021)1. This is the only Statute of Limitations that has been extended outright, as opposed to being tolled, as all Statutes of Limitations have been, by virtue of his Executive Orders 202.8 et. seq. The Governor explained he is doing so because Courts have been closed due to the coronavirus.
Separately, on Thursday night, the Governor also issued Executive Order 202.28 which (among other things) further extends, by 30 days, the time to answer or respond to any pending complaint. This means that, although the Courts have permitted electronic filing of motion papers since May 4th, the due dates for any such pleadings have now been pushed back a corresponding 30 days. This includes any Answer or Motion to Dismiss one would file in a CVA case.
By virtue of Executive Order 202.28, all other Statutes of Limitations are also extended an additional 30 days, until on or about November 1, 2020. Presumably thinking such an extension was insufficient, the COVID-19 pandemic gave the Governor the opportunity to single out the CVA and extend the window an additional ten weeks, until mid-January, giving alleged victims a total of almost five additional months to file their claims.
We will keep you apprised of any further updates.
1. Under the New York Executive Law—which sets forth the Governor’s authority to temporarily suspend certain laws, rules, and orders during a state disaster emergency—the Governor’s authority to suspend is limited to a thirty-day period at a time. See NY Executive Law, Article 2B, Section 29-A(2)(a). It therefore remains to be seen whether the NY State Legislature will supplement this Executive Order with a new bill that permanently extends the look-back window for the five-month period.