Contract Term Decreasing Limitations Period to Bring Claim Enforceable

On May 8, 2024, the Second Department issued a decision in Receivable Collection Servs., LLC v. Nassau County, 2024 NY Slip Op. 02551, holding that a contract term that decreased the limitations period to bring a claim was enforceable, explaining:

The contract provided, in relevant part, that the defendant would make payments to the plaintiff up to one year after the plaintiff provided its services. Moreover, the contract also provided that no action shall lie by the plaintiff against the defendant unless commenced within one year of the accrual of a cause of action.

. . .

An agreement which modifies the Statute of Limitations by specifying a shorter, but reasonable, period within which to commence an action is enforceable provided it is in writing. The circumstances surrounding the limitation period, not its duration, determine reasonableness. Courts have found the circumstances to be unreasonable when the limitation period acts to nullify any claim the plaintiff might have for breach of the contract.

Here, the defendant established, prima facie, that the action was time-barred as the plaintiff failed to commence it within the one-year limitation period set forth in the contract. In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to the enforceability of the agreed-upon limitation period, and thus, the timeliness of this action.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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