The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the district attorney could not use the statutes-of-limitations tolls imposed by executive order because of the COVID pandemic to delay responses to FOIL requests:
By its terms, EO [Executive Order] 202.8 tolls legal “process[es] or proceeding[s] as prescribed by the procedural laws of the state” … . The FOIL framework and deadlines for agency responses to requests are not “prescribed by the procedural laws,” such as the CPLR and CPL. In the context of FOIL requests, legal “proceedings” ensue only when parties are unable to agree on a response to a request, and resort to the courts via CPLR article 78 proceedings. The conduct of article 78 proceedings are “prescribed by the procedural laws” of the CPLR. FOIL requests and responses are not so prescribed … .
Hence, respondents’ position that EO 202.8 tolls their obligation to respond to FOIL requests, is erroneous. Matter of Oustatcher v Clark, 2021 NY Slip Op 05295, First Dept 10-5-21