"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 Michigan 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 several sections of Chapter 58 of the Michigan Compiled Laws 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, 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(2) or (3) or (4)

Contract (in writing), 6 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5807(8)

Contract (oral or not in writing), 6 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5807(8)

False Imprisonment, 2 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(2)

Fraud, 6 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5813

Enforcing Court Judgments, 6 or 10 years (Depending on the court that entered the judgment)

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5809(3)

Legal Malpractice, 2 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(6)

Libel, 1 year

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(9)

Medical Malpractice, 2 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(6)

Personal Injury, 3 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(10)

Product Liability, 3 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(13)

Property Damage, 3 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(10)

Slander, 1 year

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(9)

Trespass, 6 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5813

Wrongful Death, 3 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5805(10)

Criminal

Note: The criminal statutes of limitations generally are in section 767.24 of the Michigan Code of Criminal Procedure. You can scroll through the criminal laws (found in the Penal Code) to find crimes not listed below, and then use § 767.24 to find the statutes of limitations for those crimes.

Description

Statute

Arson, 5 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(5)

Assault and Battery, 5 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(5)

Burglary, 5 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(5)

Disorderly Conduct, 5 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(5)

Kidnapping, 10 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(3)

Manslaughter, 10 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(3)

Murder, No time limit

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(1)

Murder, second degree, No time limit

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(1)

Rape (criminal sexual misconduct in the first degree), No time limit

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(1)

Receiving Stolen Property, 5 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(5)

Robbery, 5 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(5)

Theft, 5 years

Mich. Comp. Laws § 767.24(5)

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