On June 30, 2020, Governor Brown signed into law House Bill 4212 (HB 4212). HB 4212 was enacted to “protect Oregonians from the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The bill amends several existing Oregon statutes, declares a state of emergency, and changes obligations under other existing statutes while the state is under a COVID-19 related state of emergency. One such change creates an extension to Oregon’s statute of limitations for any civil claim that would expire during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

In short, any civil claim with a timing requirement to either bring a claim or provide notice that is set to expire during the Governor’s COVID-19 state of emergency will be tolled for an additional 90 days, and the clock on those 90 days will not start until the state of emergency (or any extension thereof) ends. HB 4212 § 7(1).

The present COVID-19 state of emergency has been extended “through November 3, 2020, unless extended or terminated earlier by the Governor.” EO No. 20­38. Given the language of EO No. 20-38, the final day of the state of emergency is November 3, 2020. This means that the first day of the 90-day extension period would be November 4, 2020. Therefore, assuming the state of emergency is not extended further,1 if a two-year statute of limitations expired on October 1, 2020, then the extended statute of limitations would expire on February 1, 2021—90 days after November 3, 2020.


The scope of this extension is large—it applies to both the time limits to commence an action and time limits for required notice of any civil claim under Oregon law. Section 7 of HB 4212 applies to time periods required by all claims under ORS Chapter 12 (“Limitations of Actions and Suits”), ORS 30.020 (“Action for Wrongful Death”), ORS 30.275 (“Notice of Claim”), and “any other time limitation for the

commencement of a civil cause of action or the giving of notice of a civil claim established by statute.” HB 4212 § 7(2).

The extension does not apply to criminal cases, certain appeals to the Oregon Tax Court, appeals for judicial review being brought before the Court of Appeals, or any case or proceeding brought before the Supreme Court. HB 4212 § 7(3).

Future Impact

The extension created by Section 7 applies during the present COVID-19 emergency and “any declaration of a state of emergency . . . related to COVID-19.” Therefore, it is possible to read the statute such that a subsequently declared COVID-19 state of emergency would also trigger the extension. But Section 8 of HB 4212 repeals Section 7’s effective on December 31, 2021. So, absent additional legislation, the extension created by Section 7 cannot be implicated by a COVID-19 state of emergency after December 31, 2021.


1 At the present date, Governor Brown has extended the COVID-19 state of emergency on five occasions. See EO No. 20-38.