In the recent case of Township of Salem v. Miller Penn Development, LLC, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court invoked the often overlooked doctrine of nullum tempus occurrit regi. Read literally as “time does not run against the king,” as a general rule, nullum tempus allows the Pennsylvania state government or agencies to sue government contractors at any time, regardless of a statute of limitations defense. Nullum tempus also applies to claims brought by local governments, such as school districts, municipalities and counties, but only if the local government 1) brings its claims in its governmental capacity and 2) seeks to enforce an obligation imposed by law, as distinct from one arising out of a voluntary agreement.
Evan A. Blaker is a Partner and a member of the Commercial Litigation and the Labor & Employment Groups of Cohen Seglias. He focuses his practice on a wide range of practice areas, including employment, personal injury, construction, commercial litigation/business disputes, including breach of fiduciary duty claims and commercial collections, with concentration on contractor supply houses.