Statutes of Limitation

Civil Litigation Statutes of Limitation

Potential litigants in a civil litigation dispute should be aware of any and all statutes of limitation that may be applied to your civil law claims.

A statute of limitations regulates the deadline(s) for filing a lawsuit -- the first step in civil litigation. Most civil lawsuits MUST be filed within a certain amount of time. In general, once the statute of limitations on a case “runs out,” the legal claim is not valid any longer. The period of time during which you can file a civil lawsuit varies depending on the type of civil law claim and is typically determined by statute.

It is sometimes complicated to determine when the statute of limitations begins to run and when or whether the statute of limitations has tolled. Tolling means that the statute of limitations is suspended for a period of time -- for a potential plaintiff, this may mean you have more time to file your civil litigation suit. Below is a list of common statutes of limitations. However, it is important to contact an attorney to properly calculate your time. Please Contact Us to ensure that relevant statutes of limitation do not lapse on your civil litigation claims.

Written Contracts 4 years from breach CCP § 337
Oral Contracts 2 years from breach CCP § 339
Breach of Contract for Sale of Goods 4 years from breach UCC § 2725
Property Damage 3 years from damage CCP § 338
Fraud 3 years CCP § 338(d)
Collection of Rents 4 years but 
1 year in unlawful detainer action
CCP § 337.2
Debt Collection on Account 4 years CCP § 337
Judgments 10 years CCP § 337.5

*CCP refers to the California Code of Civil Procedure
*UCC refers to the California Commercial Code

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