When You Hear the Phrase,
“Statute of Limitations”
You Probably Think of Criminal Cases.
However, a “statute of limitations” applies in many different lawsuits or legal matters.
A "statute of limitations" is a law that was created to protect the citizen. Each state has a different statute of limitations for different case types.
This includes suits related to but not limited to; debt, libel/slander, fraud, injury to personal property, injury to person, contracts (written or verbal), and judgments.
Each case type has a different statute of limitations and can play into case matters regarding and related to family, criminal, and civil law cases.
What a statute of limitations law does is simply prohibit prosecutors/petitioners from suing or charging someone with a crime or offense that was committed more than a specified number of years ago.
The creation of this type of law and its intended purpose is to ensure that judgments and convictions are based upon legitimate evidence whether it be physical or eyewitness, that has not deteriorated with age and time.
With all this being said, although most legal matters do fall under a certain statute of limitations rule; not all legal matters do.
The classic example is murder. The criminal charge of murder has no statute of limitation law surrounding it. This is obviously for the purpose that murderers are not protected and that they can be held accountable for their crime many decades later if evidence proving their guilt is found.
As mentioned earlier, all states are different when it comes to the statute of limitations laws. Some states have no time limits for heinous crimes; for example, acts of terrorism or sex offenses. Some examples of states that have no statutes of limitations on certain crimes are Colorado having no time limit on someone being tried for treason and California having none on the embezzlement of public funds.
But since we are in Missouri, we are focused on Missouri law, regarding the statute of limitations and what the specifics of those are, and how they can affect your legal matter.
What Are the Missouri Statutes of Limitations for Specific Case Matters?
- Collection of Debt on Account: 10 years, if in writing. MO Rev Stat § 516.110.
- Libel/Slander: 2 years. MO Rev Stat § 516.140.
- Fraud: 10 years. MO Rev Stat § 516.120.(5)
- Injury to Personal Property: 5 years. MO Rev Stat § 516.120.(4)
- Injury to Person: 5 years. MO Rev Stat § 516.140.
- Written Contracts: 5 years for payment of money or property, otherwise 10 years. MO Rev Stat § 516.120.; MO Rev Stat § 516.110.
- Verbal/Oral Contracts: 5 years. MO Rev Stat § 516.120.
- Judgments: 10 years. MO Rev Stat § 516.350.
The majority of these examples above are civil law issues that can stem from family law cases.
Debt, fraud, contracts, and especially judgments are relevant when talking about the statute of limitations in your case.
Judgments are all-encompassing because they can be on a plethora of decree's ranging from; child support, parenting plans, as well as asset and debt divisions in a divorce ruling. With this being said if you believe there has been a wrongful judgment in your divorce decree, you must appeal what you believe to be wrong in the amount of time given under the statute of limitations for your specific ruling.
While this list of statutes of limitations in the state of Missouri ranges from two years, (libel and slander), to five years (injury to personal property, injury to person, and written/verbal contracts) all the way to ten years (collection of debt on account, fraud, and judgments); if you feel you have a case in one of the areas, acting on it in a timely manner, can only bring you justice quicker, and prevent you from missing the statute of limitations deadline for your particular legal matter.
At The Higher Level Legal Law Firm, we pride ourselves on working on each of our client's case matters in a diligent, efficient, and timely manner.
We do this so we can help our clients reach their legal goals in the quickest way our judicial system allows. Our attorneys are passionate about fighting for what is right and would be honored to fight with you in your pursuit of justice.
Please call us today, to reach out and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced, and knowledgeable attorneys. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get started on your case, and begin the process of pursuing your legal goals, and the justice you are rightfully entitled to.