Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.72, which lifted the nearly eight-month toll on statutes of limitations for civil claims.

The Executive Order read, in relevant part:

[T]he suspension for civil cases in Executive Order 202.8, as modified and extended in subsequent Executive Orders, that tolled any specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding as prescribed by the procedural laws of the state, including but not limited to the family court act, 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the uniform court acts, or by any statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or part thereof, is hereby no longer in effect as of November 4, 2020, provided any criminal procedure law suspension remains in effect and provided that all suspensions of the Family Court Act remain in effect until November 18, 2020 and thereafter continue to remain in effect for those juvenile delinquency matters not involving a detained youth and for those child neglect proceedings not involving foster care.

As we covered previously, Governor Cuomo first ordered all statutes of limitations tolled beginning March 20, 2020 for thirty days as the courts were grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.  He subsequently issued a series of executive orders extending the toll for an additional thirty days.  The decision to lift the toll is a significant development for lawyers throughout the State, especially lawyers representing clients with claims that may have been nearing the statute of limitations before March 20.  The decision is also significant as it signals a recognition from the State that court operations can resume with some degree of normalcy, even though courts have started to scale-back in-person operations amidst a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

For more information, and the latest updates, be sure to monitor our COVID-19 Resources Page for New York Lawyers.