Executive Order 202.8: Tolling Of New York Statute of Limitations During the Pandemic — Stop the Clock or a Grace Period?

Written By: Eugene H. Goldberg Kyle G. Kunst

10/28/20
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On March 20, 2020, after the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued an executive order concerning statutes of limitations (“SOL”). Executive Order 202.8 provides in pertinent part:
 

…any specific time limit for the commencement, filing, service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding, as prescribed by the procedural laws of [New York], including but not limited to the …civil practice law and rules, the court of claims act, the surrogate’s court procedure act, and the uniform court acts, or by any other statue, local law, ordinance, order rule or regulation …is hereby tolled from the date of this executive order until April 19, 2020… (the “COVID SOL Order”)
A series of executive orders extended this until November 3, 2020.


On October 4, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.67 which provided in pertinent part:
 

The suspension in Executive Order 202.8 …is hereby continued … provided, however, for any civil case, such suspension is only effective until November 3, 2020, and after such date, any such time limit will no longer be tolled…


What are the effect of the COVID SOL Order and its successors? Is the period between March 20, 2020, and November 3, 2020, to be excluded in calculating the running of the SOL for all causes of action (stop the clock), or only for causes of action in which the SOL expired during the period (a grace period)? There is no clear answer. 

Plaintiffs (for whom SOL expired between March 20, 2020, and November 3, 2020) should immediately commence suit. Those plaintiffs for whom the SOL expires in the future should not rely on the COVID SOL as granting them additional time in which to bring suit.

about the authors

Eugene H. Goldberg

Associate

​Mr. Goldberg has practiced construction law for over 40 years on all sides of the construction triangle (contractor owner designer), including materialmen, engineers retained by architects, inspectors approving the release of monies under building loans, and sureties. He emphasizes insurance coverage in his handling of matters.

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Kyle G. Kunst

Associate

Kyle G. Kunst has litigated commercial disputes throughout the nation in both state and federal courts, servicing a wide array of industries and clients. 

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