COVID-19 & The Limitations Act

COVID-19 & Limitation Periods

In a previous post, I wrote about The Limitations Act and that the general limitation period for civil matters is two years from the date that you had a legal problem or discovered the hidden legal problem.

Then COVID-19 came along.

On March 18, 2020, the Province of Ontario declared a state of emergency, backdating it to March 16, 2020.  In Ontario Regulation 73/20 the limitation period was suspended for the duration of the emergency.  The Provincial Government has kept pushing the date for the termination of the state of emergency several times.

This is what will happen when the state of emergency lifts.

The Provincial Government has set the date of September 11, 2020, as the date when the suspension of the limitation period will be lifted.  If you have matters that rely on the Limitations Act, then you have to consider when the limitation period ends.  Here are the scenarios for you:

  1. The 2 years end before March 16, 2020:
    1. bringing a claim against the other party is out of time;
  2. The 2 years ends on March 16, 2020:
    1. you must file your claim on or before September 11, 2020;
    2. Note:  you can still file a claim online or by mail to the Small Claims Court;
  3. The 2 years ending between March 16 and the day the emergency is lifted (tentatively June 19, 2020, as of the date of this post):
    1. It depends upon when the limitation period was supposed to be elapsed.  For example, if the limitation period was to expire on April 30, 2020, (45 days from March 16 to April 30), then your limitation period is extended by 45 days past September 11, 2020.  Your new limitation period will be October 26, 2020.

If you have a claim that would have elapsed under the Limitations Act between March 16, 2020, to the end of Ontario’s state of emergency, do not hesitate to contact me by clicking the Free Consultation Button at the top of the page, or call me toll-free at 1-855-566-4089.

Would you like to get my FREE BOOK:  “The Ontario Small Claims Court:  How To Do It Right”?  Click on the link or button below to get your copy in the mail today!