Sunday, June 25, 2017 01:54

How Long Do You Have to Sue? Statutes of Limitations in Florida

 

 

When you go to see an attorney for the first time, one of the most important things you can discuss (if potential litigation is involved) is the applicable statute of limitations.  Also known as limitations on actions, these statutes of limitations set the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings based on that event may be initiated.  In short, these laws provide for how long you have to sue.

These limitations were created because, over time, evidence can be destroyed, memories can fade, and records may be purged. Another reason is to require the injured party to avoid sitting on his or her rights in order provide certainty and finality so that people can live their lives without fear of suit from events that happened long before.

While often pegged as some mysterious and arbitrary rules, the Statute of Limitations (other than for the recovery of real property) are listed in Florida Statutes § 95.11.

WITHIN ONE YEAR
  • An action for specific performance of a contract
  • An action against any guaranty association and its insured, with the period running from the date of the deadline for filing claims in the order of liquidation.
  • An action to enforce an equitable lien arising from the furnishing of labor, services, or material for the improvement of real property
  • An action to enforce any claim against a payment bond on which the principal is a contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor for private work as well as public work*
  • An action to enforce rights under the Uniform Commercial Code—Letters of Credit, chapter 675.
  • Except correctional disciplinary proceedings, a petition for extraordinary writ, other than a petition challenging a criminal conviction, filed by or on behalf of a prisoner
  • Except correctional disciplinary proceedings, an action brought by or on behalf of a prisoner, relating to the conditions of the prisoner’s confinement
WITHIN TWO YEARS
  • An action for professional malpractice, other than medical malpractice, whether founded on contract or tort*
  • An action to recover wages or overtime or damages or penalties concerning payment of wages and overtime
  • An action for medical malpractice*
  • An action for wrongful death
  • An action founded upon a violation of any provision of chapter 517 (securities transactions*
  • An action for personal injury caused by contact with or exposure to phenoxy herbicides while serving either as a civilian or as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States during the period January 1, 1962, through May 7, 1975*
  • An action for libel or slander
WITHIN FOUR YEARS
  • An action founded on negligence
  • An action to rescind a contract
  • An action founded on the design, planning, or construction of an improvement to real property*
  • An action founded on a statutory liability
  • An action for injury to a person founded on the design, manufacture, distribution, or sale of personal property that is not permanently incorporated in an improvement to real property, including fixtures
  • An action to recover public money or property held by a public officer or employee, or former public officer or employee, and obtained during, or as a result of, his or her public office or employment
  • An action for trespass on real property
  • An action for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property
  • An action to recover specific personal property
  • A legal or equitable action founded on fraud
  • A legal or equitable action on a contract, obligation, or liability not founded on a written instrument, including an action for the sale and delivery of goods, wares, and merchandise, and on store accounts
  • An action relating to the determination of paternity, with the time running from the date the child reaches the age of majority
  • An action for money paid to any governmental authority by mistake or inadvertence
  • An action alleging a violation, other than a willful violation, of the Florida Minimum Wage Act
  • An action for assault, battery, false arrest, malicious prosecution, malicious interference, false imprisonment, or any other intentional tort*
  • Any action not specifically provided for in these statute
  • An action for a statutory penalty or forfeiture
WITHIN FIVE YEARS
  • An action on a judgment or decree of any court, not of record, of this state or any court of the United States, any other state or territory in the United States, or a foreign country
  • A legal or equitable action on a contract, obligation, or liability founded on a written instrument, except for an action to enforce a claim against a payment bond
  • An action to foreclose a mortgage
  • An action alleging a willful violation of the Florida Minimum Wage Act
WITHIN TWENTY YEARS
  • An action on a judgment or decree of a court of record in this state

*Check out the statute or talk to an attorney for this one, there are lots of qualifications and specifics to this rule.

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