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Pataki Invokes Emergency Law

Posted by nyhawk on September 14, 2001 at 03:52:02:

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Pataki Invokes Emergency Law

By John Caher
New York Law Journal
September 14, 2001


ALBANY - Governor Pataki yesterday invoked his emergency powers to suspend various statutory time limitations. The Governor suspended the limitations in an executive order which he has the authority to issue in times of disaster.

In a statement released last night, the Governor said the order will suspend all statutes of limitations on civil and criminal judicial proceedings as well as deadlines for filing appeals. He said the suspension "will provide some comfort to individuals and businesses whose work has been disrupted by the cowardly and despicable attack on the World Trade Center. Our judicial system operates with strict deadlines. By temporarily suspending these, we will allow New Yorkers to cope with the tragedy without the added worry that valuable legal rights will be compromised or lost."

Under 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 113.7 to temporarily suspend:

201 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) to the extent that it would bar actions whose time would expire between Sept. 11 and a future date to be determined.

5513 of the CPLR as it relates to a limitation period that concludes during the period beginning Sept. 11.

30.10 and 30.30 of the Criminal Procedure Law to the degree that it would serve to bar criminal prosecutions in the period between Sept. 11 and a future date.

460.10, 460.30, 460.50 and Article 460 of the Criminal Procedure Law as it relates to a limitation on the time to appeal from Sept. 11 until further notice.

Additionally, the Governor temporarily suspended, from Sept. 11 until further notice is given, "any other statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule or regulation or part thereof, establishing limitations or time for the filing or service of any legal action, notice or other process or proceeding that the courts lack authority to extend through the exercise of discretion, where any limitation of time concludes during the period commencing from the date that the disaster emergency was declared [Sept. 11] . . . until further notice."

The Governor's counsel, James M. McGuire, and Mr. McGuire's assistant, Richard Rifkin, worked with the Department of Law over the last three days to formulate the executive order. Section 29-a allows the Governor to "temporarily suspend specific provisions of any statute, local law, ordinance, or orders, rules or regulations, or parts thereof, of any agency during a state disaster emergency, if compliance with such provisions would prevent, hinder, or delay action necessary to cope with the disaster."

Additionally, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer was planning to make a formal request to the courts to extend deadlines in cases where the judiciary has that authority. For matters where the judiciary lacks authority to extend a deadline, it is expected that the Governor's executive order will alleviate any difficulties.


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