§ 5522. Six months limitation
Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 42 Pa.C.S.A. Judiciary and Judicial ProcedureEffective: January 24, 2005
Effective: January 24, 2005
42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5522
§ 5522. Six months limitation
(1) Within six months from the date that any injury was sustained or any cause of action accrued, any person who is about to commence any civil action or proceeding within this Commonwealth or elsewhere against a government unit for damages on account of any injury to his person or property under Chapter 85 (relating to matters affecting government units) or otherwise shall file in the office of the government unit, and if the action is against a Commonwealth agency for damages, then also file in the office of the Attorney General, a statement in writing, signed by or in his behalf, setting forth:
(2) If the statement provided for by this subsection is not filed, any civil action or proceeding commenced against the government unit more than six months after the date of injury to person or property shall be dismissed and the person to whom any such cause of action accrued for any injury to person or property shall be forever barred from proceeding further thereon within this Commonwealth or elsewhere. The court shall excuse failure to comply with this requirement upon a showing of reasonable excuse for failure to file such statement.
1980, Oct. 5, P.L. 693, No. 142, § 22(i)(1), effective in 60 days. Amended 1982, Dec. 20, P.L. 1409, No. 326, art. II, § 201, effective in 60 days; 1992, July 9, P.L. 507, § 31, effective in 1 year; 1998, Dec. 21, P.L. 1082, No. 144, § 1, imd. effective; 2004, Nov. 24, P.L. 1243, No. 152, § 2, effective Jan. 24, 2005. Reenacted 2014, March 14, P.L. 46, No. 20, § 1, retroactive effective Jan. 24, 2005.
BAR ASSOCIATION COMMENT
Source Note: Subsection (a) is a generalization of act of July 1, 1937 (P.S. 2547), § 1 (53 P.S. § 5301), act of April 6, 1956 (P.L. (1955) 1414) § 13.4 (55 P.S. § 563.4) act of August 14, 1963 (P.L. 984), § 36 (66 P.S. § 2036), act of December 6, 1972 (No. 298), § 16 (55 P.S. § 586). Subsection (b)(1) is a generalization of act of March 21, 1772 (1 Sm.L. 364), § 7 (42 P.S. § 1017). Subsection (b)(2) derived from act of July 16, 1941 (P.S. 400), § 7 (12 P.S. § 2621.7). Subsection (b)(3) derived from act of April 6, 1953 (P.L. 3), § 6-111 (12A P.S. § 6-111).
1978 Amendment: Act No. 53: Typographical correction.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
Act 1976-142 legislation
Section 25(a) and (b) of 1976, July 9, P.L. 586, No. 142, provides:
“(a) Any civil action or proceeding:
“(1) the time heretofore limited by statute for the commencement of which is reduced by any provision of this act; and
“(2) which is not fully barred by statute on the day prior to the effective date of this act;
may be commenced within one year after the effective date of this act, or within the period heretofore limited by statute, whichever is less, notwithstanding any provisions of Subchapter B of Chapter 55 of Title 42 (relating to civil actions and proceedings) or any other provision of this act providing a shorter limitation.
“(b) No cause of action fully barred prior to the effective date of this act shall be revived by reason of the enactment of this act.”
Act 1978-152 legislation
Sections 3, 4 and 5 of 1978, Sept. 28, P.L. 788, No. 152, provide:
“Section 3. Powers and duties of Attorney General and Department of General Services.
“(a) Reports to General Assembly.--The Attorney General shall report on April 1, 1980 and annually thereafter to the General Assembly through the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate, the number and types of claims instituted against the Commonwealth, their disposition or status, including settlements agreed or verdicts entered, and such other information as the Attorney General shall deem appropriate.
“(b) Rules and regulations.--The Attorney General shall promulgate rules and regulations not inconsistent with this act in order to implement the intent of the act. The subject of the rules and regulations may include the procedures for settlement of claims prior to or after the institution of suit, the designation of local and principal offices for Commonwealth agencies, the basis for undertaking and continuing legal defense of claims, and the procedures for payment of claims and satisfaction of judgments. The rules and regulations, and amendments thereto, promulgated pursuant to this section shall not take effect until the requirements of the ‘Commonwealth Documents Law’ have been complied with and 30 days have expired after transmission of the rules the regulations to the General Assembly through the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate.
“(c) Risk management program.--The Department of General Services shall undertake a comprehensive review of risk management including loss prevention, the availability of insurance and the feasibility of self-insurance for the areas of specific waiver of sovereign immunity enumerated in 42 Pa.C.S. § 5110 (relating to limited waiver of sovereign immunity). The department shall report, on or before February 1, 1979, to the Governor and the General Assembly through the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, its findings and recommendations for the most efficient risk management and loss prevention program, the most feasible insurance or self-insurance coverage, or combination of both. The department shall assist the Attorney General in formulating rules and regulations, standards or guidelines, for adjusting and processing claims and otherwise managing the prelitigation procedures to be utilized by commonwealth agencies to carry out the provisions of this act.”
“Section 4. Repeals.
“(a) The provisions of the following acts, and all other acts and parts of acts, are repealed insofar as they waive or purport to waive sovereign immunity inconsistent with this act, but are saved from repeal insofar as they provide defenses or immunities from suit:
“Section 11, act of March 19, 1951 (P.L. 28, No. 4), known as the ‘State Council of Civil Defense Act of 1951’ (71 P.S. § 1689.11).
“Section 5.2, act of October 27, 1955 (P.L. 744, No. 222), known as the ‘Pennsylvania Human Relations Act’ (43 P.S. § 955.2).
“Section 603, act of October 20, 1966 (3rd Sp. Sess., P.L. 96, No. 6), known as the ‘Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966’ (50 P.S. § 4603).
“Section 1001, act of October 15, 1975 (P.L. 390, No. 111), known as the ‘Health Care Services Malpractice Act’ (40 P.S. § 1301, 1001).
“Section 11, act of November 26, 1975 (P.L. 438, No. 124), known as the ‘Child Protective Services Law’ (11 P.S. § 2211).
“Section 114, act of July 9, 1976 (P.L. 817, No. 143), known as the ‘Mental Health Procedures Act’ (50 P.S. § 7114).
“(b) Except as provided in subsection (a), all other acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar as they are inconsistent with this act.
“(c) Nothing in this section shall repeal the waiver of sovereign immunity in:
“Section 1207, act of April 9, 1929 (P.L. 177, No. 175), known as ‘The Administrative Code of 1929’ (71 P.S. § 337).
“Sections 405, 1003 and 1004, act of April 9, 1929 (P.L. 343, No. 176), known as ‘The Fiscal Code’ (72 P.S. §§ 405, 1003 and 1004).
“Act of May 20, 1937 (P.L. 728, No. 193), referred to as the Board of Arbitration of Claims Act” (72 P.S. § 4651-1 et seq.).
“Section 5. Construction and application.
“(a) This act is intended to specifically respond to and prescribe limitations on the decision of Mayle v. Commonwealth, decided by the Supreme Court on July 14, 1978.
“(b) The following provisions applying this act to actions accrued on the effective date of this act, and its intended retroactive effect, are to assure the development of a consistent body of law, an orderly and uniform management of litigation and to prevent inequities within the terms of this act that would otherwise be caused by the lack of identical restrictions, limitations, procedural requirements and the application of the other provisions of this act. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the express limited waiver from bar of suit, and limited waiver of the defense of sovereign immunity contained in this act, shall be uniformly applied to all actions which are not otherwise barred, and shall not depend upon the fortuitousness of the date of the accruing of the action, or the diligence with which it was prosecuted or its status within the judicial system on July 14, 1978. Accordingly, the limitations on the amount recoverable, the types of damages, the notice requirements and all other limitations shall apply to all actions, whenever accrued, if they would have been applicable had the action accrued on or after the effective date of this act. In the case of claims not barred under this act and for which there was in effect at the time the claim accrued, or such later time as may be applicable, a policy of insurance or a self-insurance program authorized by section 2404(b) of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L. 177, No. 175), known as ‘the Administrative Code of 1929,’ which policy or program contained limitations on the amount of damages which are less than those set forth in this act, the lesser amount shall apply to such claims. In applying this act:
“(1) An action which accrued prior to the effective date of this act but which is barred by 42 Pa.C.S. § 5110 (relating to limited waiver of sovereign immunity) and is not within the exceptions contained therein, shall continue to be barred, and sovereign immunity shall continue as a defense, unless the action would not have been barred, and sovereign immunity would not have been a defense to it, by the applicable statutory and decisional law as it existed on July 13, 1978; such an action, not otherwise barred, shall be barred if suit is not instituted within the appropriate statute of limitation or within 60 days after the effective date of this act, whichever first occurs.
“(2) An action which is within the exceptions provided in 42 Pa.C.S. § 5110 shall not be barred.
“(c) All further trial or pretrial procedures in actions which are not barred under subsection (b) shall be suspended and no such proceedings shall be had on such cases, excepting only the institution of suit, and the filing and deciding of pretrial motions in which the applicability of this act is at issue. The suspension of further trial or pretrial proceedings shall continue until July 1, 1979. In the case of actions filed prior to the effective date of this act and which are not otherwise barred by this act, the parties to the suit, or any of them, shall have 60 days from the effective date of this act to move to transfer the case to the appropriate court of common pleas having jurisdiction, amend pleadings to conform to the requirements of this act, and otherwise comply with the requirements contained in this act.
“(d) Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to revive any action in which the applicable statute of limitation has run or in which a compromise settlement was reached and a release obtained, or in which final order dismissing the action against the Commonwealth or an agency of the Commonwealth government has been entered, no appeal has been taken, and the time for appeal has expired.
“(e) Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to waive the Commonwealth's immunity from suit in Federal courts guaranteed by the eleventh amendment to the United States Constitution.”
In approving Act 1978, Sept. 28, P.L. 788, No. 152, the Governor stated:
“It is may intention in approving this act that Section 5 (construction and application) shall have general retroactive effect; and in particular it is the specific intent that:
“(1) In all cases where the statute of limitations has run, the cause of action shall be barred.
“(2) In all cases where the cause of action is not permitted by Section 5110, regardless of when it arose, the cause of action shall be barred and sovereign immunity shall continue as a defense: Provided, that an action that would not have been barred by the applicable statutory or decisional law as it existed on July 13, 1978, shall not be barred if suit is instituted within the appropriate statute of limitations or within 60 days after the effective date of this act, whichever first occurs.
“(3) In all cases where the cause of action is permitted by Section 5110, and arose before the effective date of this act, the cause of action shall not be barred and sovereign immunity shall not be a defense to it, provided that the action is brought within the applicable statute of limitations.
“Further, it is my intent in approving this act and my understanding of Section 5(c) that the language therein does not deny the court the power to perpetuate testimony or to take any other action necessary to prevent manifest injustice.”
Act 1980-142 legislation
Paragraph (2) of subsection (i) of section 221 of 1980, Oct. 5, P.L. 693, No. 142, provides:
“(2) Notwithstanding 1 Pa.C.S. § 1957 (relating to ineffective provisions not revived by reenactment in amendatory statutes), it is hereby declared to be the intent of paragraph (1) [of this subsection] to restore 42 Pa.C.S. § 5522 (relating to six months limitation) to its status prior to the repeal effected by section 802(b) of the act of November 26, 1978 (P.L. 1399, No. 330), known as the ‘Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act,’ [53 P.S. § 5311.802(b) (repealed) ] except as otherwise expressly provided by such section as reenacted and amended hereby.”
Act 1982-326 legislation
Section 403 of 1982, Dec. 20, P.L. 1409, No. 326, provides, in part, that the amendment to this section “shall apply only to causes of action which accrue after the effective date of this act”.
Act 1998-144 legislation
Act 1998-144 rewrote subsec. (b)(2), which formerly read:
“A petition for the establishment of a deficiency judgment following sale of the collateral of the debtor under the provisions of section 8103 (relating to deficiency judgments).”
Section 2 of Act 1998-144 provides that this act shall apply to all actions and proceedings pending on the effective date of that act.
Act 2004-152 legislation
Act 2004-152, § 2, in subsec. (b)(2) substituted “8103(a)” for “8103”; and added subsec. (b)(6).
The amendment of § 5522 by Act 2004-152, § 2, was declared unconstitutional by Com. v. Neiman, 5 A.3d 353 (Pa. Super. 2010), stay granted by 2010 WL 4117667 (Pa. Super. 2010), appeal granted in part by 611 Pa. 419, 27 A.3d 984 (2011), and Act 2004-152 declared unconstitutional by 84 A.3d 603 (Pa. 2013) subject to a 90-day stay effective Dec. 16, 2013.
Act 2014-20 legislation
Act 2014-20, § 1, reenacted subsecs. (b)(2) and (6) without change.
1979, Nov. 1, P.L. 255, No. 86, § 5.
1978, Nov. 26 P.L. 1399, No. 330, §§ 503, 504 (53 P.S. §§ 5311.503, 5311.504).
1978, April 28, P.L. 202, No. 53, § 10(61.3).
1978, Sept. 28 P.L. 788, No. 152, § 2.
1976, July 9, P.L. 586, No. 142, § 2.
1972, Dec. 6, P.L. 1392, § 16 (55 P.S. § 586).
1970, Dec. 30, P.L. 953, No. 300, § 9.
1963, Aug. 14, P.L. 984, No. 450, § 36 (66 P.S. § 2036).
1959, Oct. 7, P.L. 1266, § 13.
1959, Oct. 2, P.L. 1023, § 6.
1956, April 6, P.L. (1955) 1414, § 13.4 (55 P.S. § 563.4).
1941, July 16, P.L. 400, § 7 (12 P.S. § 2621.7).
1937, July 1, P.L. 2547, § 1 (53 P.S. § 5301).
1772, March 21, 1 Sm.L. 364, § 7 (42 P.S. § 1017).
42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5522, PA ST 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5522
Current through 2018 Regular Session Act 10
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