By: Costas Cyprus Published: June 2020

A Covid PAUSE on New Lawsuits

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the issuance of multiple Executive Orders by the Governor affecting all facets of life in New York State, including those affecting your rights to file a lawsuit.    Even as of the date of this Legal Alert, the Governor issued another Executive Order impacting rights to file lawsuits.

The relevant Executive Order 202.8, issued on March 20, 2020, “tolled” or effectively paused the deadlines for filing lawsuits (with certain exceptions).  The tolling period has subsequently been extended by Executive Orders 202.14, 202.28 and 202.38, to July 6, 2020.  Therefore, in practice, the deadline for filing new lawsuits and the limitations period will once again begin to run on July 6, 2020.  So, if you wanted to start a lawsuit, and your last day to do so was within any date between March 20, 2020 and July 6, 2020, you now have additional time to do so.

Please also note that the above information does not explicitly relate to the filing of mechanic liens, extensions and discharge of liens given that real estate transactions have been permitted during this period, and by extension, filings pertaining to mechanic’s liens (as they affect real property rights) appear to be permitted.  Therefore, the filing of mechanic liens, extensions and discharge of liens should be attempted, as allowed by the county clerks, and if necessary, by emergency applications. 

The above information is again offered for informational purposes only, and again all the above dates are subject to possible further extensions, in light, of the ever-changing situation and subsequent governmental and administrative orders. 

The calculation of when the deadline to file suit expires may involve additional factors so as always you should consult with competent legal counsel before drawing any conclusions.

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