Statutes of Limitations are the periods prescribed by law during which a party may initiate a legal claim. With a few exceptions, every type of legal action is available to a party for a limited period of time. These periods govern civil and criminal claims alike and vary according to both federal and state law.
In Minnesota, the most common civil statutes of limitations can be found in Chapter 541 of the Minnesota Statutes. The most commonly encountered time periods limiting civil legal actions are for 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, and 15 years. Depending on your claim, shorter periods can apply, so you should talk to an attorney immediately if you have a potential claim. Below is a brief summary of the most common limitations periods.
1 Year - This time period most often applies to confessions of judgment and matters based on federal court judgments.
2 Years - The limit for most intentional torts, including defamation, assault, and battery, among many others, is two years. You also generally have two years to assert a claim regarding service or construction of real property (many exceptions apply). If you have been inadvertently denied wages for work performed, you also have two years to bring your claim (some exceptions apply).
3 Years - If wage withholding was intentional, you have three years to bring a claim.
6 Years - This limitations period is perhaps the most common. It covers actions on: contracts; consumer debt; most negligence matters; statutory remedies without another period defined; trespass; recovery of personal property; fraud; enforcing a trust; and intentional torts in a domestic abuse context.
10 Years - This is most commonly encountered as the period in which to act on a judgment.
15 Years - You have 15 years in which to initiate an action to recover real estate, calculated from the last time in which you actually possessed the real property, and not including issues of adverse possession.