"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 Louisiana 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 4 of Louisiana's Civil Code (starting with "article" 3492). Also, 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

La. Civ. Code art. 3493.10

Contract (in writing), 10 years

La. Civ. Code art. 3499

Contract (oral or not in writing), 10 years

La. Civ. Code art. 3499

False Imprisonment, 2 years

La. Civ. Code art. 3493.10

Fraud, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Enforcing Court Judgments, 10 years

La. Civ. Code art. 3501

Legal Malpractice, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Libel, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Medical Malpractice, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Personal Injury, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Product Liability, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Property Damage, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Slander, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Trespass, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492 and La. Civ. Code art. 3493

Wrongful Death, 1 year

La. Civ. Code art. 3492

Criminal

Note: Generally, the criminal statutes of limitations are in Articles 571 and 572 of Louisiana's Code of Criminal Procedure. You can scroll through the criminal laws (found in Title 14 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes) to find crimes not listed below, and then use arts. 571 and 572 to find the statutes of limitations for those crimes.

Description

Statute

Arson, 4 or 6 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 572(A)(1) or (2)

Assault and Battery, 2 or 4 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 572(A)(2) or (3)

Burglary, 4 or 6 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 572(A)(1) or (2)

Disorderly Conduct (Disturbing the Peace), 2 years

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 572(A)(3)

Kidnapping, 4 or 6 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 572(A)(1) or (2)

Manslaughter, 6 years

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 572(A)(1)

Murder, No time limit

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 571

Murder, second degree, No time limit

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 571

Rape, No time limit

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 571

Receiving Stolen Property (Illegal Possession of Stolen Things), 2 or 4 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 572(A)(2) or (3)

Robbery, 4 or 6 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 572(A)(1) or (2)

Theft, 2 or 4 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

La. Crim. Code Proc. art. 572(A)(2) or (3)

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