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Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations

Every aspect of the legal system is governed by a variety of statutes, laws that specifically outline what is and isn’t allowed. One such statute is the statute of limitations, which dictates how long after an event has occurred someone has to take action in order to pursue legal charges. There are a number of factors that determine this period of time, including the severity of the crime and the state in which it occurred. Knowing your rights and what you’re up against is critical, so here we’ll break down the basics of the statute of limitations.

Who decides the statute of limitations?

Generally, legislatures decide the statute of limitations for civil actions. For criminal cases, statutes of limitation are generally set by the individual states. There are a few federal statutes of limitation, but they are mostly limited to crimes such as treason and counterfeiting.

What Is Statute of Limitations?

statute of limitations

A statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit on how long legal proceedings can be continued. After the expiration of the time limit, the party wishing to continue with the legal proceedings (usually the plaintiff) can no longer do so. This limitation period varies depending on which country your legal case is taking place in. 

In most cases, the time limit begins to run from the date when the wrong or injury occurred. There are some exceptions to this rule, however – for example, in cases where minors are involved or where there is evidence that a party has tried to conceal or delay proceedings. 

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s actions, it’s important to seek legal action as soon as possible.

The rationale behind the law is that it is unfair to require defendants to defend themselves against stale claims. Memories fade, evidence disappears, and defendants should not have to constantly look over their shoulders worrying about old charges being brought against them. On the other hand, plaintiffs should not be able to delay justice indefinitely by waiting until all possible witnesses die or evidence disappears. Thus, legislatures attempt to find a balance between these two competing interests in setting time limits on bringing civil and criminal actions.

Does Statute of Limitations Apply to All Types of Lawsuits?

The statute of limitations applies to most, but not all, lawsuits. Generally, it is a law that sets a time limit on how long a person has to file a lawsuit. After the time limit has expired, the person cannot file a lawsuit.

There are many types of lawsuits, and each type of lawsuit may have its own law for deciding the time period. For example, the law for filing a personal injury lawsuit is different than the law for filing a contract dispute.

Because every state has its own laws governing statutes of limitation, it is important to consult an attorney in your state to find out whether the statute of limitations applies to your specific type of lawsuit.

There are a few exceptions to the statute of limitations in the US legal system. Generally, the statute of limitations is set up to prevent evidence from deteriorating and to ensure that cases are fairly tried. However, there are a few situations where the statute of limitations does not apply.

For example, crimes that involve fraud or deception typically have a longer statute of limitations, because it can be more difficult to gather evidence in those cases. Additionally, minors have a longer statute of limitations for most crimes, because they may not be able to understand or process what has happened to them until later in life. Lastly, there are some crimes that do not have a specified statute of limitations, because they are considered so heinous that prosecutors should always be able to go to court.

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