Statute of Limitations-California Law
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STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS - CALIFORNIA LAW
The State of California imposes time deadlines to take legal action. Such deadlines are called “statute of limitations.”
Under California law, you must fully settle your claim or file a court lawsuit within a certain time period. If you do
not, you forever lose your right to recover any money or damages against the liable person, business or entity.
"SOL" means "statute of limitations."
"CCP" means California "Code of Civil Procedure."
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS OF COMMON CLAIMS
Examples of general California statute of limitations related to common legal claims (Listed Alphabetically):
Type of Legal Claim: General Limitation Time Period: California
Assault and/or Battery 2 years CCP §335.1
Contracts (verbal /
2 years from date contract was breached (broken) CCP
Contracts (written) 4 years from date contract was breached (broken) CCP
stated, balance due
4 years CCP
of verbal / oral
2 years CCP
of written contract)
4 years CCP
6 years from due date (or, if payable on demand, then 6
years from demand date)
(Dishonored draft, bad
3 years from dishonor date or 10 years after date of draft,
whichever occurs first
1 year CCP
Generally 1 year for wrongful termination, employment
discrimination, harassment, retaliation, denial of medical
leave, denial of accommodations, and pregnancy leave. A
180 day limit applies to E.E.O.C. filings. Other types of claims
may have other deadlines.
Fraud, deceit, or
3 years from date of discovery CCP
Entity) - Claim against
defendant - Shorter
File pre-lawsuit claim with entity within 6 months for an injury
or personal property damage claim, or 1 year after accrual for
a contract or real estate damage claim.
Then SOL time period is 6 months after written denial of claim by entity or
2 years from accrual if no written denial is made.
See article: Legal
Malpractice Statute of
1 year from date discovery or 4 years from wrongdoing,
whichever occurs first (except for actual fraud)
Medical malpractice or
providers including for
See further S.O.L.
discussion at: Medical
1 year from date discovery or 3 years from injury, whichever
No specific limitation
4 years from date of "accrual" of cause of action CCP §343
Personal injury or
death caused by
products liability, slip or
trip and fall on private
property, dog bite, etc.)
2 years (typically after date of occurrence or date of death) CCP §335.1
Property damage 3 years CCP
Theft or Conversion,
3 years CCP
Statutes of limitations, and the court rules and cases that interpret and apply them, are
complicated. Exceptions that lengthen or shorten the time deadlines may apply to your claim. For
example, the statute of limitations deadline time period may, in many cases, be suspended, and,
thus, extended during the time that:
(a) Defendant is absent from state of California [CCP §351];
(b) Child remains a minor (i.e., under 18 years of age) [CCP §352];
(c) Plaintiff is Insane / incompetent [CCP §352];
(d) Plaintiff is Imprisoned [CCP §352.1];
(e) Plaintiff is absent during times of war [CCP §354]; and/or
(f) Numerous others.
A statute of limitation ("SOL") period also may be waived, tolled, suspended or extended by a
The SOLmay also be "equitably tolled" when, for example, the defendant’s conduct contributed to
the plaintiff’s delay in filing suit.
See more details in the article:
Exceptions to Statute of Limitations
Even if you believe that the statute of limitation deadline might have passed, still seek legal consultation to determine
if any of the time-extending exceptions or rules to the statue of limitations apply to your case.
Government Entity Defendants - Shorter Deadlines! Before you can sue a government entity, you must
send a prelawsuit written claim to the entity, called a "Government Code Section 911.30 claim." A
911.30 claim for personal injury or personal property damage must, in most cases, be sent to the
government entity within six months.A 911.30 claim for breach of contract or injury to real property
must, in most cases, be sent within one year. If the entity rejects the claim (which, in most cases, is
rejected), you must usually file a court action (lawsuit) within six months of the rejection or you'll
lose your right to sue. Note: This rule may not apply to certain actions based on "federal law."
Minor Children: In many types of claims, a minor child has, depending on the type of claim, a certain amount of time
after their eighteenth birthday to file a lawsuit. Notable exceptions to this particular tolling (permitting a longer time
period) rule include, but are not limited to, medical malpractice, uninsured motorist claims and government claims.
Warning: Statute of limitation laws and their application are complex. While certain factors may extend the general time
deadline, other factors may shorten the time.
In order to identify which statute of limitations applies often requires a comprehensive review of
your potential claim or case.
Factors to Evaluating the Statute of Limitations:
1. Where did the harm occur? Each state has its own statute of limitations laws.
2. What, if any, legal right was violated? Different types of harm have different and potentially
various statute of limitations.