"Statutes of limitations" are laws that set time limits on how long you have to file a "civil" lawsuit, like a personal injury lawsuit, or how long the state has to prosecute someone for committing a crime. These time limits usually depend on the legal claim or crime involved in the case, and they're different from state to state. For example, in some states you may have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit after you were hurt in car accident, but in other states you may have two years. As a general rule:

  • The time period begins to run on the date your claim arises or "accrues," like the day of the car accident, or when a crime is committed, and
  • Once the statute of limitations has expired or "run," you can't file a lawsuit (or be prosecuted for a crime)

Below are the statutes of limitations in Hawaii for various civil claims and crimes. The list doesn't cover everything. Also, the laws may change at anytime, so be sure to check the current laws and read them carefully, or talk to an attorney if you have any questions.

Civil

Note: Most of the civil statutes of limitations are in Volume 13, Chapter 657 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS). You can scroll through the laws there to find the statute of limitations for civil claims or "causes of action" not listed below.

Description

Statute

Assault and Battery, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-7

Contract (in writing), 6 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-1

Contract (oral or not in writing), 6 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-1

False Imprisonment, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-7

Fraud, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-7

Enforcing Court Judgments, 10 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-5

Legal Malpractice, 6 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-1

Libel, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-4

Medical Malpractice, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-7.3

Personal Injury, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-7

Product Liability, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-7

Property Damage, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-7

Slander, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-4

Trespass, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-7

Wrongful Death, 2 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 657-7

Criminal

Note: The Hawaii criminal statutes of limitations generally are in Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS). You can scroll through Hawaii's criminal laws (located in Chapters 705 through 712A) for various crimes and then use § 701-108 to determine which statute of limitations applies to a crime not listed below.

Description

Statute

Arson, 3 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(2)(d)(f)

Assault and Battery, 1, 2, or 3 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(2)(d) or (e) or (f)

Burglary, 3 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(2)(d)

Disorderly Conduct, 1 year

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(2)(f)

Kidnapping, 3 or 6 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(2)(b) or (d)

Manslaughter, 10 years

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(2)(a)

Murder, No time limit

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(1)

Rape, 2, 3, or 6 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(b) or (d) or (e)

Receiving Stolen Property, 1, 2, or 3 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(d) or (e) or (f)

Robbery, 3 or 6 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(b) or (d)

Theft, 1, 2, or 3 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

Haw. Rev. Code Ann. § 701-108(d) or (e) or (f)

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