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. Evan represents clients across various industries, from food service and distribution to general construction, in a wide range of matters, including breach of fiduciary duty claims and creditors’ rights matters. He regularly handles commercial collections for a number of electrical and other construction industry supply houses. He also represents construction contractors in other matters such as contract review, mechanics’ lien claims, and performance and payment bond claims.