On March 13, 2020, on the heels of Gov. Abbott’s declaration of disaster for the state of Texas, the state Supreme Court authored an emergency order tolling (pausing) all “service and filing deadlines” in civil cases until June 1. This means that any deadline for filing a lawsuit or serving process on a party to a lawsuit is extended until June 1 - usually a good thing for those contemplating filing suit - but there has been some confusion about just how far the order extends. If you are in a position to file a civil lawsuit, you need to be aware of what your position will likely be now that the statute of limitations is no longer being paused.
Do Not Miss The Statutory Window
The Texas civil statute of limitations is a law governing the amount of time in which a person can file a lawsuit before it is barred. It is generally understood that there must be a time limit on lawsuits, because over time, evidence decays, and memories become faded - if too much time elapses between an event and filing suit over injuries sustained, there will eventually be no evidence to prove liability. However, the time limit itself depends on the offense in question - for example, most personal injury lawsuits have a limitation period of two years, while a lawsuit for defamation must be filed within one year.
Very often, an injured party will fail to file their lawsuit within the statutory period, for one reason or another (the most common is simply not realizing how short a time they have in which to file suit). If you fail to file in time, the lawsuit will be forever barred - that is, you can never file it again, as you will have missed the proverbial window. The statute begins to run when a cause of action accrues - in other words, when something happens that might be grounds for a lawsuit - but very often, the injured party will not be told about it....