"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 New York 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 Article 2 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (C.P.L.R.) portion of the New York Code. You need to use the navigation tools and links on the page provided to see the code sections noted below (start with "Laws of New York"), or you can run a word search. Also, you can scroll through the laws in Article 2 to find the statute of limitations for civil claims or "causes of action" not listed below.

Description

Statute

Assault and Battery, 1 year

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 215(3)

Contract (in writing), 6 years

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 213(2)

Contract (oral or not in writing), 6 years

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 213(2)

False Imprisonment, 1 year

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 215(3)

Fraud, 6 years

N.Y. C.P.L.R. §213(8)

Enforcing Court Judgments, 20 years

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 211(b)

Legal Malpractice, 3 years

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(6)

Libel, 1 year

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 215(3)

Medical Malpractice, 2 years and six months

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214-a

Personal Injury, 3 years

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(5)

Product Liability, 3 years

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(5)

Property Damage, 3 years

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(4)

Slander, 1 year

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 215(3)

Trespass, 3 years

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(4)

Wrongful Death, 2 years

N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(4)

Criminal

Note: Most of the criminal statutes of limitations are in section 30.10 of Criminal Procedure ("Crim. Proc.") portion of the New York Code. You need to use the navigation tools and links on the page provided to see the code sections noted below (start with "Laws of New York"), or you can run a word search. Also, you can scroll through the criminal laws (found in the "Penal" portion of the Code) for various crimes and then use § 30.10 to determine which statute of limitations applies to a crime not listed below.

Description

Statute

Arson, No time limit, or 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(a) or (b) or (c)

Assault, 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(b) or (c)

Burglary, 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(b) or (c)

Kidnapping, No time limit or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(a) or (b)

Manslaughter, first degree, 5 years

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(b)

Manslaughter, second degree, 5 years

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(b)

Murder, first degree No time limit

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(a)

Murder, second degree, No time limit

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(a)

Rape, No time limit

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(a)

Receiving Stolen Property, 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(b) or (c)

Robbery, 5 years

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(b)

Theft ("Larceny"), 2 or 5 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

N.Y. Crim. Proc. § 30.10(2)(b) or (c)

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