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Encyclopedia > Statute of limitations
Criminal procedure
Investigating and charging crimes
Criminal investigation
Arrest warrant  · Search warrant
Probable cause  · Knock and announce
Exigent circumstance
Search and seizure  · Arrest
Right to silence  · Miranda warning (U.S.)
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Criminal prosecution
Statute of limitations  · Nolle prosequi
Bill of attainder  · Ex post facto law
Criminal jurisdiction  · Extradition
Habeas corpus  · Bail
Inquisitorial system  · Adversarial system
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Arraignment  · Indictment
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Nolo contendere (U.S.)  · Plea bargain
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Criminal law  · Evidence
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Portals: Law  · Criminal justice

A statute of limitations is a statute in a common law legal system that sets forth the maximum period of time, after certain events, that legal proceedings based on those events may be initiated. In civil law systems, similar provisions are usually part of the civil code or criminal code and are often known collectively as "periods of prescription" or "prescriptive periods." Image File history File links Scale_of_justice. ... Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the criminal law. ... An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by a public officer which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual. ... A search warrant is a written warrant issued by judge or magistrate which authorizes the police to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a criminal offense, and seize the evidence. ... In United States criminal law, probable cause refers to the standard by which a police officer may make an arrest, conduct a personal or property search or obtain a warrant. ... Knock-and-announce, in United States law of criminal procedure, is an ancient common-law principle which requires law enforcement officers to announce their presence and provide residents with an opportunity to open the door to the residence when conducting a search. ... An exigent circumstance, in the American law of criminal procedure, allows law enforcement to enter a structure without a warrant, or if a they have a knock and announce warrant, without knocking and waiting for refusal under certain circumstances. ... Search and seizure is a legal procedure used in many common law whereby police or other authorities and their agents, who suspect that a crime has been committed, do a search of a persons property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime. ... The Chicago Police Department arrests a man An arrest is the action of the police, or person acting under the law, to take a person into custody so that they may be forthcoming to answer for the commission of a crime. ... The right to silence is a legal protection enjoyed by people undergoing police interrogation or trial in certain countries. ... The Miranda warning is a police warning that is given to criminal suspects in police custody in the United States before they are asked questions relating to the commission of crimes. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... A grand jury is a type of jury, in the common law legal system, which determines if there is enough evidence for a trial. ... Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the criminal law. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime, and punishing them, without benefit of a trial. ... An ex post facto law (from the Latin for from something done afterward) or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. ... Criminal jurisdiction is a term used in the law of criminal procedure to describe the power of a court to hear a case brought by the state accusing a criminal defendant of a violation of the law of the geographic area in which the court is located. ... Extradition is the official process by which one nation or state requests and obtains from another nation or state the surrender of a suspected or convicted criminal. ... In common law, habeas corpus (/heɪbiÉ™s kɔɹpÉ™s/) is the name of a legal action or writ by means of which detainees can seek relief from unlawful imprisonment. ... The word bail as a legal term means: Security, usually a sum of money, exchanged for the release of an arrested person as a guarantee of that persons appearance for trial. ... An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court or a part of the court is actively involved in determining the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the role of the court is solely that of an impartial referee between parties. ... The adversarial system (or adversary system) of law is the system of law, generally adopted in common law countries, that relies on the skill of the different advocates representing their partys positions and not on some neutral party, usually the judge, trying to ascertain the truth of the case. ... Arraignment is a common law term for the formal reading of a criminal complaint, in the presence of the defendant, to inform him of the charges against him. ... In the common law legal system, an indictment (IPA: ) is a formal charge of having committed a most serious criminal offense. ... In legal terminology, a plea is simply an answer to a claim made by someone in a civil or criminal case under common law using the adversary system. ... In the common law legal system, the peremptory pleas (pleas in bar), are pleas that set out special reasons for which a trial cannot go ahead. ... In criminal trials in some common law jurisdictions, a plea of nolo contendere means that the defendant neither admits nor disputes the charge, and is an alternative to pleading guilty or not guilty. ... A plea bargain (also plea agreement, plea deal or copping a plea) is an agreement in a criminal case in which a prosecutor and a defendant arrange to settle the case against the defendant. ... A presentence investigation report (PSI) is a legal term referring to the investigation into the history of person convicted of a crime before sentencing to determine if there are extenuating circumstances which should ameliorate the sentence or a history of criminal behavior to increase the harshness of the sentence. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the process that courts will follow when hearing cases of a civil nature (a civil action, as opposed to a criminal action). ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Civil law or continental law is the predominant system of law in the world. ... A civil code is a systematic compilation of laws designed to comprehensively deal with the core areas of private law. ... A Criminal Code is a compilation of government laws that outline a nations criminal offenses, and the maximum and minimum punishments that courts can impose upon offenders when such crimes are committed. ...



A common law legal system might have a statute limiting prosecution for crimes called misdemeanors to two years. In such a state, if a person is discovered to have committed a misdemeanor three years ago, he or she cannot now be prosecuted for it. Or a contract can only be sued upon for breach of performance from six years after the contracted performance became due. A misdemeanor, or misdemeanour, in many common law legal systems, is a lesser criminal act. ...

In contrast, Canada has a criminal limitations periods only for summary (less serious) offences. The period is six months from the date of the offence. Thus, for instance, a Canadian can only be charged with an "indecent act" within six months of the time of offence, unless both the Crown and the defence agree. In the case of indictable (more serious) offences, for example if a hypothetical assailant committed sexual assault, the assailant could be charged any time in the future—even if the crime happened twenty years ago. In many common law jurisdictions (e. ...

A crime (in the case of a criminal prosecution) or a cause of action (in a civil lawsuit) is said to have accrued when the event beginning its time limitation occurs. Sometimes this is the event itself that is the subject of the suit or prosecution (such as a crime or personal injury), but it may also be an event such as the discovery of a condition one wishes to redress, such as discovering a defect in a manufactured good, or in the case of controversial "repressed memory" cases where someone discovers memories of childhood sexual abuse long afterwards. Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of law that regulates governmental sanctions (such as imprisonment and/or fines) as retaliation for crimes against the social order. ... In the law, a cause of action is a recognized kind of legal claim that a plaintiff pleads or alleges in a complaint to start a lawsuit. ... It has been suggested that civil trial be merged into this article or section. ... A repressed memory, according to some theories of psychology, is a memory (often traumatic) of an event or environment which is stored by the unconscious mind but outside the awareness of the conscious mind. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

An idea closely related, but not identical, to the statute of limitations is a statute of repose. A statute of repose limits the time within which an action may be brought and is not related to the accrual of any cause of action; the injury need not have occurred, much less have been discovered. Unlike an ordinary statute of limitations which begins running upon accrual of the claim, the period contained in a statute of repose begins when a specific event occurs, regardless of whether a cause of action has accrued or whether any injury has resulted. This often applies to buildings and properties, and limits the time during which an action may lie based upon defects or hazards connected to the construction of the building or premises. An example of this would be that if a person is electrocuted by a wiring defect incorporated into a structure in, say, 1990, a state law may allow his heirs to sue only before 1997 in the case of an open (patent) defect, or before 2000 in the case of a hidden defect. Statutes of repose can also apply to manufactured goods. Manufacturers contend they are necessary to avoid unfairness and encourage consumers to maintain their property. Consumer groups argue that statutes of repose on consumer goods provide a disincentive for manufacturers to build durable products and to notify consumers of product defects as the manufacturers become aware of them. Consumer groups also argue that such statutes of repose disproportionately affect poorer people, since they are more likely to own older goods. A statute of repose (sometimes called a nonclaim statute), like a statute of limitation, is a statute that cuts off certain legal rights if they are not acted on by a certain deadline. ... Sign warning of possible electric shock hazard An electric shock can occur upon contact of a human or animal body with any source of voltage high enough to cause sufficient current flow through the muscles or nerves. ... MCMXC redirects here; for the Enigma album, see MCMXC a. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A boy from an East Cipinang trash dump slum in Jakarta, Indonesia shows what he found. ...

Philosophical justifications

One reason for statutes of limitations is fairness; that is, over time memories fade, evidence is lost or never found, and people prefer to get on with their lives without legal intrusions from the past. This idea is reflected in the various lengths of limitations periods. For example, some crimes such as murder or war crimes (see Rome Statute) are deemed so horrific that they have no limitations period in some jurisdictions. Generally, actions relating to real property have longer limitations periods and slander and libel usually have short periods. Japan is one country that does have a statute of limitations for murder. There, if murderers manage to evade the law for 25 years after committing a homicide, they will be free to go public with details of the crime. Personal life (or everyday life or human existence) is an individual humans personal, private career (including, but not the same as, their employment career), and is a common notion in modern existence -- although more so in more prosperous parts of the world, such as Western Europe and North America... In the context of war, a war crime is a punishable offense under International Law, for violations of the laws of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. ... Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Opened for signature June 17, 1998[1] at Rome Entered into force July 1, 2002 Conditions for entry into force 60 ratifications Parties 99[2] The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (or Rome Statute) is the treaty which established the International... Real property is a legal term encompassing real estate and ownership interests in real estate (immovable property). ... “Libel” redirects here. ...

From time to time, controversy arises because some horrific crimes have been discovered, but their perpetrator may finally escape due to the statute of limitation or prescription.

Another reason for statutes of limitations is closure, certainty, or repose. This encourages entities such as courts and law enforcement agencies to allocate resources to more timely concerns. The limitations period also permits entities and individuals to conduct their business without fear of being sued for something far in the past. For civil actions, statutes of limitations usually range between one and ten years. In Nevada, for example, it is two years and in New Mexico and New York, three. This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Capital Santa Fe Largest city Albuquerque Area  Ranked 5th  - Total 121,665 sq mi (315,194 km²)  - Width 342 miles (550 km)  - Length 370 miles (595 km)  - % water 0. ... NY redirects here. ...

In California until 2003, the statute of limitations for most personal injury actions (including those resulting from car accidents) was one year from the date of the accident. Now, it is two years from the date of the accident, the change effective on January 1, 2003. (See Cal Code Civ Proc § 335.1 (2006: "Within two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another")). Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Once the statute of limitations on a case runs out, if a party raises it as a defense any further litigation is foreclosed. Most jurisdictions provide that limitations are tolled under certain circumstances. Tolling will prevent the time for filing suit from running while the condition exists. Examples of such circumstances are if the aggrieved party (plaintiff) is a minor, or the defendant has filed a bankruptcy proceeding. In those instances, in most jurisdictions, the running of limitations is tolled until the circumstance (i.e. the injured party reaches majority in the former or the bankruptcy proceeding is concluded in the latter) no longer exists. Notice of closure stuck on the door of a computer store the day after its parent company, Granville Technology Group Ltd, declared bankruptcy (strictly, put into administration - see text) in the UK. Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of an individual or organizations to pay their...

There may be a number of factors which will affect the tolling of a statute of limitations. In many cases, the discovery of the harm (as in a medical malpractice claim where the fact or the impact of the doctor's mistake is not immediately apparent) starts the statute running. In some jurisdictions the action is said to have not accrued until the harm is discovered, while in others the action accrues when the malpractice occurs, but an action to redress the harm is tolled until the injured party discovers the harm. An action to redress a tort committed against a minor is generally tolled in most cases until the child reaches the age of majority. A ten-year-old who is injured in a car accident might therefore be able to bring suit one, two or three years after he turns 18. Medical malpractice is an act or omission by a health care provider which deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and which causes injury to the patient. ... Tort is a legal term that means a civil wrong, as opposed to a criminal wrong, that is recognized by law as grounds for a lawsuit. ...

It may also be inequitable to allow a defendant to use the defense of the running of the limitations period, such as the case of an individual in the position of authority over someone else who intimidates the victim into never reporting the wrongdoing, or where one is led to believe that the other party has agreed to suspend the limitations period during good faith settlement negotiations or due to a fraudulent misrepresentation.

Generally speaking, in the case of private, civil matters the limitations period may be shortened or lengthened by agreement of the parties. Under the Uniform Commercial Code the parties to a contract for sale of goods may reduce the limitations period to not less than one year but may not extend it. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC or the Code) is one of a number of uniform acts that have been promulgated in conjunction with efforts to harmonize the law of sales and other commercial transactions in 49 states (all except Louisiana) within the United States of America. ...

While such limitations periods generally are issues of law, limitations periods known as laches may apply in situations of equity (i.e., a judge will not issue an injunction if the party requesting the injunction waited too long to ask for it), such periods are not clearly defined and are subject to broad judicial discretion. Laches is an equitable defense, or doctrine, in an action at law. ... The Court of Chancery, London, early 19th century This article is about the concept of equity in the jurisprudence of common law countries. ... Look up Injunction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In many actions at law or cases in equity the judge is not required by statute or precedent to make a predetermined decision; but is able to make a decision within a range of decisions. ...

For US military cases, the Uniform Code of Military Justice states that all charges except for those facing general court martial (where a death sentence could be involved) have a five year statute of limitation. This statute changes once charges have been prepared against the service member. In all supposed UCMJ violations except for those headed for general court martial, should the charges be dropped, there is a six month window in which the charges can be reinstated. If those six months have passed and the charges have not been reinstated, the statutes of limitation have run out. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is the foundation of military law in the United States. ... A court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court that determines punishments for members of the military subject to military law. ... Capital punishment, also referred to as the death penalty, is the judicially ordered execution of a prisoner as a punishment for a serious crime, often called a capital offense or a capital crime. ...

See also

Equitable tolling is a principle of tort law stating that a statute of limitations shall not bar a claim in cases where the plaintiff, despite use of due diligence, could not or did not discover the injury until after the expiration of the limitations period. ... Laches is an equitable defense, or doctrine, in an action at law. ... A statute of repose (sometimes called a nonclaim statute), like a statute of limitation, is a statute that cuts off certain legal rights if they are not acted on by a certain deadline. ... Tort reform is the phrase used by its advocates who claim it is a change in the legal system to reduce litigations alleged adverse effects on the economy. ...

External links

  • Statute of Limitations with regards to debt collection
  • Debt Statute of Limitations[[zh:

  Results from FactBites:
statute of limitations: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (2705 words)
For example, a debtor's agreement to waive the statute of limitations in exchange for a creditor's agreement not to sue is valuable consideration that prevents the debtor from using the defense.
The statute of limitations for a debt or obligation may be tolled by either an unconditional promise to pay the debt or an acknowledgement of the debt.
One reason for statutes of limitations is fairness; that is, over time memories fade, evidence is lost or never found, and people prefer to get on with their lives without legal intrusions from the past.
Statutes as basis of demurrer; 69 C. 100; such demurrer cannot be based on allegation as to date of personal injury; 81 C. 503; as basis of nonsuit or direction of verdict.
Statutes of limitation are not tolled by an automatic bankruptcy stay; pursuant to federal law, if the statute of limitations expires during the automatic bankruptcy stay, plaintiff has thirty days from notice of termination or expiration of the stay within which to commence an action.
Statute of limitation is tolled upon the death of a tortfeasor until a fiduciary of his estate is properly appointed and qualified.
  More results at FactBites »



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