Legal Analysts

Monday, June 08, 2020

Governor Cuomo Tolls Statute of Limitations to July 6 and Prepares for Phase 2 Reopenings

Governor Cuomo has signed Executive Order 202.38, a copy of which can be found HERE. For non-legal practitioners, the big ticket items in this Executive Order deal with Phase 2 reopenings. Businesses can check for temperature and refuse entry. Restaurants and bars can serve food outdoors. Sidewalks and closed streets can be used by businesses to serve food and drink. Houses of worship can allow non-essential gatherings at less than 25% capacity. Of course all of this good news is still subject to businesses following social distancing, cleaning protocols and a reopening plan, which we outlined in our blog last week titled Are you Ready to Reopen Your Business? Here is Your 5-Step Plan.

On the legal front, statutes of limitations have been tolled again, this time to July 6, 2020. Before this was a necessity, as filings of new non-essential matters were tolled, but now it is more of a courtesy in the light of the fallout and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Federal statutes of limitations remain unaffected. Motion and discovery deadlines likewise are not strictly tolled, although Administrative Order 70/20 still controls. With expanded court operations there is less and less reason to adjourn motions and discovery deadlines, except in cases of specific hardship. Parties seeking to enforce discovery and motion deadlines should contact their assigned judge for guidance.