Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued an order tolling the statute of limitations on civil cases following Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s declaration of a state of disaster for all Texas counties due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.  On April 1, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court issued its Eighth Emergency Order.  The Order tolled all deadlines for the filing or service of all civil cases from March 13, 2020 until June 1, 2020 unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.  The Order specifically states that it does not impact deadlines for perfecting an appeal or other appellate proceedings.  Instead, it provides that requests for relief from those deadlines should be directed to the court involved and that such requests “should be generously granted.”

The Eighth Emergency Order clarifies the previous deadline in the First Emergency Order, which originally extended the statute of limitations in Texas civil cases until thirty days after the Governor’s state of disaster had been lifted. The Court had received letter request from a coalition of bar associations and plaintiffs and defense attorneys who wanted to avoid facing a different statute of limitations in each of Texas’ 254 counties. 

Editor’s note: The Texas Supreme Court’s new Order provides potential plaintiffs additional time to consider their legal options in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic and could lead to a flurry of new civil filings after June 1, 2020.

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