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Ohio Statutes of Limitations

May 19, 2014

America’s judicial system includes time limits on when you must initiate a lawsuit or criminal complaint. This is what is referred to as a “statute of limitations.” We’ve heard the term in television programs – usually involving an accused criminal escaping justice because the crime wasn’t discovered until too late to charge him or her, because the statute of limitations had expired.

It is the same with civil suits. And the statutes of limitations are different for each type of action. To recover for a breach of contract on a written contract, Ohio allows up to eight years from the date of breach to bring suit (R.C. 2305.06); for an oral contract, up to six years (R.C. 2305.07). But, if the contract was for the sale of good, the suit must be brought within four years (R.C. 1302.98).

For personal injury claims, Ohio law generally allows two years to bring the case (R.C. 2305.10)

Medical malpractice claims must be brought within one year (R.C. 2305.113) – although this period can be extended by giving notice during that one year that you are considering bringing an action.

Statutes of limitations serve a valuable role in our justice system. They help encourage disputes be litigated in a timely fashion, allowing the courts to better determine the truth when witnesses and facts are readily available. While at first blush they seem to cut harshly against Plaintiffs who don’t rush to the courthouse, just imagine if the police waited ten years to charge you for a car accident. Would you have any idea who witnessed the events or what mitigating circumstances might have existed?

As a Plaintiff, it is important to know the statute of limitations so you don’t find yourself locked out of the courthouse, left with no recovery for your injury. And defendants need to consider the statute of limitations as well, to make sure they’re not being held liable for wrongs that should have been righted years earlier.

Have a question specific to your situation? Contact us today.

Claim Statute of Limitations Code Section
Contract in Writing 8 years ORC 2305.06
Contract not in Writing 6 years ORC 2305.07
Contract for Sale of Goods 4 years (but parties may reduce the limitation to 1 year by contract ORC 1302.98
Libel, Slander, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment 1 year ORC 2305.11
Action by Employee for Payment of Wages 2 years ORC 2305.11
Trespassing on Real Property 4 years ORC 2305.09
Physical or Regulatory Taking of Real Property 4 years ORC 2305.09
Recovery of Personal Property 4 years ORC 2305.09
Eviction 2 years ORC 1923.01
Recover Real Property (Adverse Possession) 21 years ORC 2305.04
Fraud 4 years after fraud is discovered ORC 2305.09
Wrongful Death 2 years ORC 2125.02(D)
Bodily Injury or injury to personal property 2 years ORC 2305.10
Malpracitce (Other than medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic) 1 year ORC 2305.11
Medical malpractice 1 year * ORC 2305.113
Assault and Battery 1 year of date on which you reasonably should have known the identity of the attacker ORC 2305.111
State Income Tax Refund 4 years ORC 5747.11
State Corporate Tax Refund 3 years ORC 5733.12
Municipal Income Tax Refund 3 years ORC 718.12
Actions Against the State 2 years ORC 2743.16
Actions Against Political Subdivisions 2 years ORC 2744.04
Actions not Otherwise Provided Fors 10 years ORC 2305.14
Felony 6 years ORC 2901.13
Misdemeanor (Other than Minor Misdemeanor) 2 years ORC 2901.13
Minor Misdemeanor 6 months ORC 2901.13