Statute of Limitations Basics

Statutes of limitations are laws that set the deadline or maximum period of time within which a lawsuit or claim may be filed. The deadlines vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the type of case or claim. The periods of time also vary from state to state and vary depending on whether they are filed in federal or state court. If a lawsuit or claim is not filed before the statutory deadline, the right to sue or file a lawsuit or claim is barred. Under certain circumstances, a statute of limitations will be extended beyond its deadline.

There are several rationales for having statutes of limitations.

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