Friday, March 27, 2020
On Friday March 27, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law Am. Sub. H.B. 197, a COVID-19 response bill, which tolled all statutes of limitations and statutory time limitations and deadlines in the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code. This temporary law change ensures that Ohio judges have the authority they need to toll statutorily established time requirements for civil and criminal cases.
Am. Sub. H.B. 197 implements emergency measures for COVID-19 issues facing Ohio. Specifically relating to legal suits, the bill tolls the following statutory deadlines, among others, during the emergency period of March 9, 2020 through July 30, 2020:
- All statutes of limitations for criminal offenses
- All statutes of limitations for civil cases
- Time within which discovery must be completed
- Time within which a party must be served
- “Any other criminal, civil, or administrative time limitation or deadline under the Revised Code
The bill notes that tolling expires on July 30, 2020 or “on the date the period of emergency ends,” whichever is sooner. This allows for minimal interruption of court deadlines.
Am. Sub. H.B. 197 will present a unique issue for any cases that may be filed within the next year. If there are any causes of action that accrue during this tolling period, knowledge of this bill will be necessary to compute both the appropriate statute expiration date and the time in which a defendant must be served.
A full copy of Am. Sub. H.B. 197 can be found at: