(Editor’s Note: The example in the post below has been revised.)
California causes of action are subject to various statutes of limitation. Unless a plaintiff or petitioner files a complaint or other document asserting a cause of action within the applicable limitations period, the filing will be deemed time barred and subject to dismissal. Under some circumstances, however, statutes of limitation may be tolled or suspended so as to extend the filing period.
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused court closures, the California Judicial Council responded with Emergency Rule 9, which tolled the statutes of limitation for civil actions from March 6, 2020 until 90 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency, which will not occur until an unknown future date.
The initial emergency rule, issued April 6, has now been revised and partially clarified. As California courts began to reopen in May, the Judicial Council chose to put a clearer endpoint on the tolling of limitations periods. A memorandum from the Judicial Council provides background on the amended rule.