statute of limitations
statute of limitations
1 a: a statute establishing a period of time from the accrual of a cause of action (as upon the occurrence or discovery of an injury) within which a right of action must be exercised compare laches, statute of repose
b: a criminal statute establishing the period of time within which an offense can be punished after its commission
2: a period of time established by a statute of limitations for commencing an action or prosecution
3: an affirmative defense that the statute of limitations has expired

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

statute of limitations
A statute that limits the time in which a lawsuit may be brought for an injury or a crime, after which the party with a grievance loses the right to sue; see also laches

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

statute of limitations
The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim and on state law. For example, many states require that a personal injury lawsuit be filed within one year from the date of injury — or in some instances, from the date when it should reasonably have been discovered — but some allow two years. Similarly, claims based on a written contract must be filed in court within four years from the date the contract was broken in some states and five years in others. Statute of limitations rules apply to cases filed in all courts, including federal court.
Category: Accidents & Injuries
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

statute of limitations
n. Law governing time permitted for filing various types of lawsuits, differing from state to state and as to type of matters; for example, states' statutes of limitations for filing a negligence action may vary from one to three years, a claim for breach of contract may have a statutory limit of some other amount of time; in all cases, statutes of limitations are specifically set forth and are strictly enforced; failure to comply by even one day will result in dismissal of lawsuit.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

statute of limitations
A type of federal or state law that restricts the time within which legal proceedings may be brought.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

statute of limitations
A type of federal or state law that restricts the time within which legal proceedings may be brought.
II A statute which limits the right of a plaintiff to file an action unless it is done within a specified time period after the occurrence which gives rise to the right to sue.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

statute of limitations
   a law which sets the maximum period which one can wait before filing a lawsuit, depending on the type of case or claim. The periods vary by state. Federal statutes set the limitations for suits filed in federal courts. If the lawsuit or claim is not filed before the statutory deadline, the right to sue or make a claim is forever dead (barred). The types of cases and statute of limitations periods are broken down among: personal injury from negligence or intentional wrongdoing, property damage from negligence or intentional wrongdoing, breach of an oral contract, breach of a written contract, professional malpractice, libel, slander, fraud, trespass, a claim against a governmental entity (usually a short time), and some other variations. In some instances a statute of limitations can be extended ("tolled") based on delay in discovery of the injury or on reasonable reliance on a trusted person (a fiduciary or confidential adviser who has hidden his/her own misuse of someone else's funds or failure to pay). A minor's right to bring an action for injuries due to negligence is tolled until the minor turns 18 (except for a claim against a governmental agency). There are also statutes of limitations on bringing criminal charges, but homicide generally has no time limitation on prosecution. The limitations (depending on the state) generally range from 1 to 6 years except for in Rhode Island, which uses 10 years for several causes of action. Louisiana has the strictest limitations, cutting off lawsuit rights at one year for almost all types of cases except contracts. California also has short periods, usually one year, with two years for most property damage and oral contracts and four years for written contracts. There are also statutes of limitations on the right to enforce a judgment, ranging from five to 25 years, depending on the state. Some states have special requirements before a lawsuit can be filed, such as a written warning to a physician in a claim of malpractice, making a demand upon a state agency and then waiting for the claim to be denied or ignored for a particular period, first demanding a retraction before filing a libel suit, and other variations. Vermont protects its ski resorts by allowing only one year for filing a lawsuit for injuries suffered in a skiing accident as an exception to that state's three-year statute of limitations for other personal injuries.
   See also: demurrer, laches, toll

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • statute of limitations — n. the statute of limitations takes effect, goes into effect (or: colloq. and illogically statute of limitations the statute of limitations expires, runs out) * * * goes into effect (or: colloq. and illogically statute of limitations the statute… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • statute of limitations — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms statute of limitations : singular statute of limitations plural statutes of limitations a law that sets a period of time during which legal action can be taken …   English dictionary

  • statute of limitations — noun a statute prescribing the time period during which legal action can be taken • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence • Hypernyms: ↑law * * * noun, pl statutes of limitations [count] law : a law that states the amount of time that must pass before a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • statute of limitations — statute of limi tations plural statutes of limitations n law a law which gives the period of time within which action may be taken on a legal question or crime …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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