News & Events

Ohio House and Senate Pass House Bill 197

In response to the numerous challenges Ohio is facing due to the Covid-19 crisis, the Ohio House and Senate passed House Bill 197 on March 25, 2020. While the bill contains numerous relief measures relating to businesses, schools, and state institutions, of particular note in the legal field are the amendments to state law statutes of limitations and court procedures.

HB 197 applies retroactively to March 9, 2020, the date Governor DeWine declared a state of emergency due to Covid-19. The bill tolls any statute of limitations that was or is set to expire between March 9, 2020 and July 30, 2020, which includes the statutes of limitations for civil, criminal, and administrative claims.

Further, the bill automatically tolls any discovery deadlines in any active civil, criminal, or administrative suits or filings. It also tolls the time a plaintiff has to effectuate service of a complaint on a defendant.

The tolling period for each of the above expires on the date the Covid-19 emergency period ends or July 30, 2020, whichever is sooner. HB 197 will take effect on the date Governor DeWine signs the bill, which he has indicated will be on March 27, 2020.