"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 a 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 New Jersey for various civil claims and crimes. The list doesn't cover everything. Also, the laws may change at any time, 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 2A, Chapter 14 of the New Jersey Statutes. You need to use the navigation tools to see the contents of the Chapter. 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

N.J. Stat. § 2A-14-2(a)   

Contract (in writing), 6 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-1

Contract (oral or not in writing), 6 years   

N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-1

False Imprisonment, 2 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A-14-2(a)

Fraud, 6 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-1

Enforcing Court Judgments, 20 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-5

Legal Malpractice, 2 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A-14-2(a)

Libel, 1 year

N.J. Stat. § 2A;14-3

Medical Malpractice, 2 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A-14-2(a)

Personal Injury, 2 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-2(a)

Product Liability, 2 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-2(a)

Property Damage, 6 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-1

Slander, 1 year

N.J. Stat. § 2A;14-3

Trespass, 6 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-1

Wrongful Death, 2 years

N.J. Stat. § 2A:31-3

Criminal

Note: The criminal statutes of limitations are in sections 2C:1-4 and 2C:1-6 of the New Jersey Statutes. You can scroll through the criminal laws, which are located throughout Title 2C, for various crimes and then use §§ 2C:1-6 and 2C:1-4 to determine which statute of limitations applies to a crime not listed below.

Description

Statute

Arson, 5 years

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(b)            

Assault, 1 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(b)(1) or (2)

Burglary, 5 years

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(b)

Disorderly Conduct, 1 year

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(b)(2)

Kidnapping, 5 years

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(b)

Manslaughter, No time limit

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(a)(1)

Murder, No time limit

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(a)(1)

Rape ("Sexual Assault"), No time limit

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(a)(1)

Receiving Stolen Property, 1 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)   

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(b)(1) or (2)   

Robbery, 5 years

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(b)

Theft, 1 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-6(b)(1) or (2)

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