Statute of Limitations

The California legislature sets deadlines (called the statute of limitations) for when a lawsuit can be filed. There is a different statute of limitations period for each type of case. A lawsuit cannot be filed after the statute of limitations has been reached.

Quick list of common statute of limitations periods: 

  • Lawsuits involving written contracts → 4 years from the day the contract was broken.
  • Lawsuits involving oral contracts → 2 years from the date the contract was broken.
  • Lawsuits involving security deposits → approximately 2-4 years from when the tenant moved out. *If the rental agreement was oral, approximately 2 years from when the tenant moved out. If the rental agreement was in writing, approximately 4 years from when the tenant moved out.
  • Lawsuits involving property damage → 3 years from the date the damage occurred.
    • Example: Car accidents
  •  Lawsuits involving personal injuries → 2 years from the date of the injury.
  • Lawsuits involving fraud → 3 years from the date the fraud was discovered.
  • Lawsuits involving negligence by a healthcare provider → 3 years from the date of the injury.
  • Lawsuits involving defamation → 1 year from when the defamatory statement is first published on made available online.  
  • Lawsuits against the government → Learn more here

For more detailed Statute of Limitations information click here