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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What Are the Statute of Limitations in New York?

By: Peter J. Lamont, Esq.
New Jersey Business and Personal Law Attorney
Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont

One of the most frequently asked questions, involves New York's Statute of Limitations.  The purpose of this post is provide a general understanding of what statutes of limitations are and to provide the specific limitations on New York's actions. 

Keep in mind that determining when a "cause of action" triggers the statute of limitations can be a complicated matter.  If you believe that you have a claim, you should speak with an attorney as soon after you discover the possibility of the claim, in order to preserve your rights. As a general rule, the time period begins to run on the date your claim arises or "accrues". For example, in a typical motor vehicle accident, the date of the accident starts the statue of limitations running. 

Statutes of limitations are often used by the defense as a why to dismiss lawsuits at their onset.  If a plaintiff does not file his/her lawsuit within the statue of limitations, he/she will be forever barred from bringing the claim, even if the claim had merits. 

Separately, please note that the statutes listed below apply to New York only.  Each state has different statutes of limitations. For example, in NJ you have 2 years (see N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-2(a)to file a personal injury claim while in New York you have 3 years (see, 
N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(5))

Finally, please note that the below information is not a comprehensive list and that the laws may change at any time. 


Assault and Battery, 1 year
Contract (in writing), 6 years
Contract (oral or not in writing), 6 years
False Imprisonment, 1 year
Fraud, 6 years
Enforcing Court Judgments, 20 years
Legal Malpractice, 3 years
Libel, 1 year
Medical Malpractice, 2 years and six months
Personal Injury, 3 years
Product Liability, 3 years
Property Damage, 3 years
Slander, 1 year
Trespass, 3 years
Wrongful Death, 2 years


Arson, No time limit, or 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)
Assault, 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)
Burglary, 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)
Kidnapping, No time limit or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)
Manslaughter, first degree, 5 years
Manslaughter, second degree, 5 years
Murder, first degree No time limit
Murder, second degree, No time limit
Rape, No time limit
Receiving Stolen Property, 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)
Robbery, 5 years
Theft ("Larceny"), 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

If you would like more information about this topic or have general legal questions, please feel free to contact me at (973)949-3770 or via email at plamont@peterlamontesq.com We answer legal questions on a daily basis and would be happy to discuss any issues or questions that you have with you.  Offices in: New Jersey New York, Colorado & Puerto Rico.  Affiliated throughout the country.

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