Every state enforces strict time limits for filing a civil action, whether it's a malpractice lawsuit or a claim for collection of debt. These time limits are called statutes of limitations and differ for different types of legal actions. Generally, they are intended to ensure the integrity of physical evidence and witness testimony, while also removing the indefinite threat of a lawsuit (which could be used as blackmail in the absence of limits).
Civil Statute of Limitations in Vermont
Most of the civil statutes of limitations are in Title 12, Chapter 23 of the Vermont Statutes. You can scroll through the laws in this Chapter to find the statute of limitations for civil claims or "causes of action" not listed below. Vermont's time limits for filing a civil action generally range from two (2) to three (3) years, but judgment collection actions have a ten-year limit.
What If I Miss a Deadline To File a Civil Lawsuit In Vermont?
If you miss the deadline to bring your lawsuit 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 Vermont. 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. Tit. 12 §512(1) §512(4); except injury caused by skiing is 1 yr. Tit.12 §513|
|Libel/Slander||3 yrs. Tit. 12 §512(3)|
|Fraud||6 yrs. Tit. 12 §511|
|Injury to Personal Property||3 yrs. Tit. 12 §512(5)|
|Professional Malpractice||Medical: 3 yrs. from incident or 2 from reasonable discovery (max. 7 yrs.) Tit. 12 §521|
Trespass, 3 years, Tit. 12 Vt. Stat. § 512(5)
|Collection of Rents||-|
|Contracts||Written: 8 yrs. under seal; 6 yrs. others; 4 yrs. sales Tit. 12 §507; 9A §2-725; 12 §511; Oral: 6 yrs. Tit. 12§511|
|Collection of Debt on Account||6 yrs., Tit. 12 §511|
|Judgments||10 yrs. ct. of record; 6 yrs. not ct. of record Tit. 12 §506; Tit. 12 §511|
3 years, Tit. 12 Vt. Stat. § 512(4)
3 years, Tit.12 Vt. Stat. § 512(2)
Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through legislation, ballot initiative, or court ruling -- contact a Vermont civil litigation attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Vermont Civil Statute of Limitations : Related Resources
Questions About Vermont Civil Statute of Limitations Laws? Ask a Lawyer
You don't want to miss out on filing your Vermont personal injury case because you didn't meet a deadline. The statute of limitations often depends on the nature of the claim being filed. To learn more, speak with an experienced litigation attorney in Vermont who will be able to help you meet your time limits.
Contact a qualified attorney.