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New York Civil Statute of Limitations Laws

In every state, there are time limits for the filing of lawsuits and other civil actions called "statutes of limitations." New York's civil statute of limitations laws are largely in line with those in other states. Depending on the type of case or procedure, New York's statutes of limitations generally range from one (1) year to six (6) years. The point at which the clock starts ticking typically is the date of the incident or discovery of a wrong.

What If I Miss a Deadline To File a Civil Lawsuit In New York?

A piece of advice: don't miss the deadline for filing your lawsuit. However, if you fail to bring suit within a prescribed time period, then the opposing party can assert the statute of limitations as a defense.

The opposing party can file a motion to dismiss the case alleging that the time allowed by law to bring a suit has passed. Once the judge dismisses the case, your legal claim is lost forever.

Below is a summary of civil statutes of limitations in New York. See Details on State Civil Statute of Limitations and Time Limits to Bring a Case: The Statute of Limitations to learn more.

Injury to Person 3 yrs. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §215; 3 yrs. §214
Libel/Slander 1 yr. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §215
Fraud 6 yrs. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §213
Injury to Personal Property 3 yrs. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §214
Professional Malpractice 3 yrs.; medical: 2 1/2 yrs.; foreign object in body of patient 1 yr. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §214(6) and §214-a
Trespass 3 yrs. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §214
Collection of Rents 6 yrs. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §213(1)
Contracts Written: 6 yrs. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §213; Oral: 6 yrs. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §213
Collection of Debt on Account 6 yrs. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §213(1)
Judgments 20 yrs. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. §211(b)

Note: State laws surrounding when to file a lawsuit are constantly changing -- contact a New York attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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