On Wednesday March 25, 2020, the Ohio General Assembly passed emergency COVID-19 legislation known as Sub. H.B. 197 (“the Bill”). Governor DeWine quickly issued a statement applauding bipartisan work on the Bill and pledging to sign it soon. On Friday March 27, 2020, Governor Dewine signed the Bill into law during his now daily press conferences. Significantly, the Bill provides that a number of deadlines that were set to expire between March 9, 2020 and July 30, 2020 are tolled, including the following:
1. A statute of limitations, as follows:
(a) For any criminal offense, the applicable period of limitations for criminal offenses as set forth in 2901.13 of the Revised Code for the criminal offense;
(b) Civil statutes of limitations provided under Chapter 2305 of the Revised Code, or any other provision of the Revised Code that applies to the cause of action;
(c) For any administrative action or proceeding, the period of limitation for the action or proceeding as provided under the Revised Code or Administrative Code if applicable.
2. The time within which a bill of indictment or an accusation must be returned or the time within which a matter must be brought before a grand jury;
3. The time within which an accused person must be brought to trial or, in the case of a felony, to a preliminary hearing and trial;
4. Time deadlines and other schedule requirements regarding a juvenile, including detaining a juvenile;
5. The time within which a commitment hearing must be held;
6. The time by which a warrant must be issued;
7. The time within which discovery or any aspect of discovery must be completed;
8. The time within which a party must be served;
9. The time within which an appearance regarding a dissolution of marriage must occur pursuant to section 3105.64 of the Revised Code;
10. Any other criminal, civil, or administrative time limitation or deadline of the Revised Code.
Additionally, the Bill expressly provides for retroactive application to the date of the emergency declared by Executive Order 2020-01D, issued March 9, 2020. All time limitations will remain tolled until the period of emergency ends or July 30, 2020, whichever is sooner. Pursuant to the Bill, all Court operations in Ohio do not need to stop. However, as set forth above, many current (and past) deadlines may be implicated.
If you have questions about the impact of the Bill on your particular case, the lawyers at Coolidge Wall are available to help.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail.