COVID-19 has had a continued impact on everyone’s daily life. The Judicial Branch is no exception. Courts across the country are implementing temporary measures to ensure the public is protected but that may have some effect on cases. Maryland is one such state that has entered an order that will impact people’s cases.
What Are Maryland Courts Doing?
Maryland has passed many administrative orders, which can be found here. On April 8, 2020, The Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland entered the Amended Administrative Order on Emergency Tolling or Suspension of Statutes of Limitations and Statutory and Rules Deadlines Related to the Initiation of Matters and Certain Statutory and Rules Deadlines in Pending Matters. Section (a) of the order suspends, among other things, the Statute of Limitations in Maryland cases in the state courts. The Statute of Limitations is essentially the maximum amount of time you have to bring a claim. If the Statute of Limitations expires, so does your right to bring a claim. The Statute of Limitations varies by states and by type of claim. For example, the Statute of Limitations for bringing a slander claim in Maryland is 1 year in Maryland but the Statute of Limitations for a fraud claim in Maryland is 3 years (compared to 2 years for slander in Florida and 4 years for fraud in Florida).
What Does the Administrative Order Mean to You?
The Administrative Order was applied retroactively and as such is in effect as of March 16, 2020 and will extend until such time as the Court decides in a later administrative order. So, what does this mean for cases in Maryland? People may still have time to file claims for matters where the statute of limitations would have otherwise expired. Any statute of limitations deadline that fell on March 16, 2020 through the period established by the court would be extended, allowing people time to consult with an attorney and preserve their legal rights.
What should you do?
If you think the Statute of Limitations deadline is approaching in your case or you may have expired since March 16, 2020, you should contact a lawyer immediately to see what options you may have. The extension of time should not be relied on as a means to buy more time to file your case. The experienced Maryland employment law lawyers and Maryland personal injury lawyers at Burns Sheppard Favors may be able to help you preserve your claims. If you have questions regard your Maryland Employment law case or your Maryland Personal Injury case, give us a call at 833-778-7359 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.