Statute Of Limitations

Statute Of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a law which sets out the maximum time that parties have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense. The precise form of a statute of limitations differs from one jurisdiction to the next. In general, the length of time allowed under a statute of limitations varies depending upon the severity of the offense. For example, breach of contract cases may only be brought within a few years after the event. However, cases involving serious crimes like murder typically have no maximum time period under a statute of limitations.

A statute of limitations is sometimes controversial due to cases where legal action cannot be brought against an offender because the maximum length of time has elapsed. Proponents of a statute of limitations argue that, for practical reasons, it is most equitable to limit the initiation of legal proceedings to a reasonable period after the event. As time goes on, important evidence may be lost and the memories of witnesses can grow foggy. Legal proceedings brought under these circumstances may not be fair to all parties.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

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  • 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… …   Law dictionary

  • statute of limitations — ˌstatute of limiˈtations noun statutes of limitations PLURALFORM [countable] LAW a law that gives the period of time within which action can be taken on a legal question or crime: • Under the current statute of limitations, he has up to three… …   Financial and business terms

  • Statute of limitations — Statute Stat ute ( [ u]t), n. [F. statut, LL. statutum, from L. statutus, p. p. of statuere to set, station, ordain, fr. status position, station, fr. stare, statum, to stand. See {Stand}, and cf. {Constitute}, {Destitute}.] 1. An act of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • statute of limitations — n. 1. a statute limiting the period within which a specific legal action may be taken 2. the period itself …   English World dictionary

  • Statute of limitations — 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… …   Wikipedia

  • 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

  • statute of limitations — statute of limi tations noun count AMERICAN a law that sets a period of time during which legal action must begin in a court case …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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