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New York Statute on Restrictions and the Effect of COVID-19 Closures | Legal insurance blog for property insurance



Recently, the New York Statute of Limitations has become a hot topic of litigation. Governor Cuomo issued executive orders banning the Restrictions Ordinance, but the question has become, what is the effect of these orders? The New York Statute of Limitations is generally six years, 1 but this can be changed by contract. Many insurance policies shorten this six-year period to just twelve months.

Governor Cuomo adopted Executive Decision 202.67, which regulated the limitation period as follows:

The suspension of civil cases in Executive Decision 202.8, as modified and extended in subsequent Executive Decisions, which examined any specific time limit for initiating, filing or filing measures, notices, proposals or other procedures or procedures prescribed in state procedural law, including but not limited to family law, civil law and rules, court law, surrogate court procedure law and uniform court documents, or under any statute, local law, ordinance, decision, rule or regulation, or parts thereof, hereby no longer apply on 4 November 2020.

There are two possible effects of this order. If tolls are a real toll period, the limitation period is extended by the time it was paid for. If the effect of the order is a respite period, the time that the plaintiffs must submit their documents is extended until the end of the respite period, but no longer.

Recently, a federal court has interpreted the governor's current order to be a true toll period, extending the plaintiff's time to bring an action. 2 Another federal court refused to answer the question, noting that the decision would be submitted to the state courts. 3 Furthermore, a state court found that there are two possible interpretations of the governor's order but did not have to decide between the two because the plaintiff's applications were relevant in any of the interpretations. 4

Historical courts, however, interpreted previous executive decisions related to September 1

1 and Hurricane Sandy as "respite periods" rather than "blanket charges." In Scheja v Sosa for example, the Second Chamber held that the executive decisions after 11 September gave the plaintiff "whose limitation period expired between 11 September 2001 and 8 November 2001… A time limit of up to 8 November. 2001 5 The Court rejected the argument that the enforcement order was applied to disputes with limitation periods which expired outside the narrow range, such as the plaintiff, who had to take action by February 2002, long after on November 8, 2001, with the repeal of the suspension, but filed in March 2002. Similarly, after Hurricane Sandy, the courts interpreted Governor Cuomo's executive order as repeal rather than payment of the restrictions. 6

In support of finding that Governor Cuomo's current order is an actual toll rather than a grace period, the COVID language used the word to ll. Earlier orders, Post 911 and Hurricane Sandy, used the word suspend. There are legally significant differences between the words "cancel" and "toll". 7 Governor Cuomo's word change seems intentional and intentional.

In summary, there are two reasonable interpretations of Governor Cuomo's order, either an actual toll or a suspension / respite period only. It is extremely important that the plaintiff's lawyer does not risk it and has his cases submitted within the statute of limitations.
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1 NY CPLR 213 (2).
2 Foy v. State No. 135085, 2021 WL 866035 (NY Ct. Cl. February 16, 2021).
3 Lopez-Motherway v. City of Long Beach No. 2: 20-CV-5652 (BMC), 2021 WL 965158, at * 9 (EDNY March 15, 2021).
4 Morse v. Lovelive TV US, Inc. 69 Other. 3d 1224 (A), 135 NYS3d 629 (NY Sup. Ct. 2020).
5 Scheja v. Sosa 4 AD3d 410, 411-412 (2d Dep & # 39; t. 2004)
6 Se Williams v. MTA Bus Co. 44 Other. 3d 673, 684-85 (Sup. Ct., NY Cty. 2014) (claiming that the suspension from 26 October 2012 to 25 December 2012 did not apply to a measure with a limitation period expiring in August 2013). [19659009] 7 See EO 52 (October 26, 2012).


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