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Facts - Books - News    U.S. Facts Of Law:

When A Statute of Limitations Time Expires

Once the statute of limitations runs out, a defendant may use the statute as a defense against litigation or prosecution and the court will foreclose the action.

In some special instances the time limitation my be "tolled".  This puts the running of the limitation on hold while the condition remains.  An example would be a defendant who is out of the state when a legal action is begun and cannot be served or prosecuted.

In many cases the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the injured party discovers the infraction.  An example might be a medical malpractice event that doesn't manifest itself for years after the surgery.  Also, the statute of limitations generally will not begin running when the injured party is a minor until the minor reaches majority.

In civil cases, the parties generally can agree to a longer or shorter limitation period.  The IRS is known to regularly request that taxpayers agree to an extension of the statute of limitations to allow the agency more time to collect unpaid taxes.  The statute generally will begin to run on unpaid taxes when the final tax forms have been filed.

A court may also find that the statue of limitations can be tolled in an instance where a person of authority uses intimidation to prevent a victim from reporting a wrongdoing or where a victim was coerced into believing that the perpetrator had agreed to a suspension of the statute when they actually had not.


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Facts of Law explaining when the statute of limitations expires

Facts of Law - Statute of Limitations Expires