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Missouri Statutes of Limitations

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"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 Missouri 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 Title 35 (XXXV), Chapter 516 of the Missouri Revised 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.

 

Description

Statute

Assault and Battery, 2 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 516-110(1) and § 516-120.1

Contract (oral or not in writing), 5 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516-120.1

False Imprisonment, 2 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516-120.5

Enforcing Court Judgments, 10 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516-350.1

Legal Malpractice, 5 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516-120.4 or .5

Libel, 2 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516-105

Personal Injury, 5 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516-120.4

Product Liability, 5 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516-120.4

Property Damage, 5 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516-120.4

Slander, 2 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516-120.3

Wrongful Death, 3 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 537-100

Criminal

Note: Most of the criminal statutes of limitations are in Title 38 (XXXVIII), Chapter 556 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. You can scroll through the criminal laws -- found in several Chapters of Title 38 (XXXVIII) -- to find crimes not listed below, and then use Chapter 556 to find the statutes of limitations for those crimes.

Description

Statute

Arson, No time limit or 3 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 556-036.1 or 556-036.2(1)

Burglary, 3 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 556-036.2(1)

Disorderly Conduct ("Peace Disturbance"), 1 year

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 556-036.2(2)

Kidnapping, No time limit or 3 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 556-036.1 or 556-036.2(1)

Manslaughter, voluntary, 3 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 556-036.2(1)

Manslaughter, involuntary, 3 years

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 556-036.2(1)

Murder, first degree, No time limit

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 556-036.1

Murder, second degree, No time limit

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 556-036.1

Rape, No time limit

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 556-036.1

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

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 556-036.2(1) or (2)

Robbery, No time limit or 3 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 556-036.1 or 556-036.2(1)

Theft ("Stealing"), No time limit, or 1 or 3 years (Depending on the type and value of the property stolen)

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 556-036.1 or 556-036.2(1) or 556-036.2(2)

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