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PA Attorney Outlines State Statutes of Limitations During COVID-19 Emergency

Philadelphia attorney T. Justin Chapman has authored a new Litchfield Alert that addresses a recent order from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania signed March 18, 2020, suspending all non-essential operations in the Courts of Common Pleas due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency.

In his Litchfield Alert, “Statute of Limitations Not Automatically Tolled in Pennsylvania During Pandemic,” Justin reviews Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Supplemental Order signed March 24, 2020, clarifying that commencement by filing praecipe for writ of summons is an essential function that was not suspended. The supplemental order outlines procedures for filing a praecipe with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania if a lawyer is unable to file in any Court of Common Pleas.

Justin addresses whether plaintiffs may argue the statute of limitations on claims which expire during the COVID-19 pandemic should be tolled. The Supplemental Order expressly states that the statute of limitations for filing a Complaint should not be tolled unless a praecipe for a writ of summons was filed before the applicable statute of limitations expired, and addresses the situation at hand if the statute of limitations expired between March 18, 2020, (when the order suspending operations was signed) and March 24, 2020 (when the supplemental order providing clarification was signed).

To read Justin’s Litchfield Alert, please click here.