statute of limitations

Definition of statute of limitations

  1. :  a statute assigning a certain time after which rights cannot be enforced by legal action or offenses cannot be punished

First Known Use of statute of limitations

1641


Law Dictionary

statute of limitations

  1. 1a :  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. 2 :  a period of time established by a statute of limitations for commencing an action or prosecution

  3. 3 :  an affirmative defense that the statute of limitations has expired


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