In the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the New York Courts have been essentially closed to any matter except for criminal arraignments, family court custodial issues and residential tenant eviction matters. The Courts prohibited the filing of any new civil matters outside of the two identified exceptions. Commencing on April 13, 2020, the Courts started implementing virtual operations for civil matters not involving family court custodial and residential eviction issues. However, the prohibition in the filing of new matters remained in effect. In response to the Court closures and to avoid prejudice to litigants, Governor Cuomo signed, on March 7, 2020, an executive order tolling all statutory deadlines until April 19, 2020. Specifically, Gov. Cuomo’s order tolls “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 Criminal Procedure Law, 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 other statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or part thereof.” Since the Courts had not reopened by April 19, 2020, Governor Cuomo took further action. On May 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed a further executive order extending the time period of his March 7, order until June 6, 2020. The effect of this order is continue the current suspension of any statute of limitation which would have accrued after March 7, 2020, and to avoid any gaps in tolling period.
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