"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 Kentucky 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 Chapter 413 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes or "code." 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, 1 year

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(e)

Contract (in writing), 15 years

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.090

Contract (oral or not in writing), 5 years

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 430.120(1)

False Imprisonment, 1 year

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(e)

Fraud, 5 years

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 430.120(12)

Enforcing Court Judgments, 15 years

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.090

Legal Malpractice, 1 year

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(f)

Libel, 1 year

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(d)

Medical Malpractice, 1 year

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(a)

Personal Injury, 1 year

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(e)

Product Liability, 1 year

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(e)

Property Damage, 2 years

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.125

Slander, 1 year

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(d)

Trespass, 5 years

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 430.120(4)

Wrongful Death, 1 year

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(e) and Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413-180(1)

Criminal

Note: Generally, the Kentucky criminal statutes of limitations are in Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050. You can scroll through the criminal laws (found in Title L) to find crimes not listed below, and then use § 500.050 to determine which statute of limitations applies to a crime not listed below.

Description

Statute

Arson, No time limit

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1)

Assault, No time limit or 1 year (Depending on the facts of the case)

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1) or (2)

Burglary, No time limit

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1)

Disorderly Conduct, 1 year

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(2)

Kidnapping, No time limit

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1)

Manslaughter, first degree, No time limit

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1)

Manslaughter, second degree, No time limit

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1)

Murder, No time limit

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1)

Rape, No time limit

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1)

Receiving Stolen Property, No time limit or 1 year (Depending on the value of the property)

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1) or (2)

Robbery, No time limit

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1)

Theft, No time limit or 1 year (Depending on the value of the property)

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 500.050(1) or (2)

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