The California Judicial Council Revises Emergency Rule to Restart Civil Statutes of Limitations on Set Dates
The California Judicial Council Revises Emergency Rule to Restart Civil Statutes of Limitations on Set Dates

In our April 8, 2020 blog post we relayed information about the California Judicial Council’s issuance of Emergency Rules that, among other things, suspended statutes of limitations on civil cases in California until 90 days after Governor Newsom lifted the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic (“Emergency Rule 9”). 

The Governor has not yet lifted the state of emergency, but has announced plans to modify the statewide “Stay-at-Home” Executive Order in stages over the coming weeks and months.  In response, many courts are also beginning to resume operations at a reduced level, processing civil filings and implementing ways to move cases forward despite the current pandemic.

The Judicial Council has followed suit and has amended Emergency Rule 9 so that it is no longer tied to the lifting of the state of emergency declaration. The revised rule restarts statutes of limitations and repose on the following set dates:

  • For civil causes of action with statutes of limitations and repose that are 180 days or shorter, the statutes of limitations are suspended from April 6, 2020 (the date of the original order) until August 3, 2020. 
  • For civil causes of action with statutes of limitations and repose that are longer than 180 days, the statutes of limitations are suspended from April 6, 2020 (the date of the original order) until October 1, 2020.

Statutes of repose are similar to statutes of limitations, but statutes of repose establish deadlines for filing certain types of lawsuits within a specified period time after an occurrence that is not necessarily the same time a cause of action accrues.  This includes, for example, claims arising out of defects in construction based on the date of construction.

The revised rule applies to all civil causes of action, including special proceedings of a civil nature, such as actions brought under the California Environmental Quality Act and land use challenges.

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