ZinnLaw MediaZinnLaw Statutes of limitation

Every state has statutes of limitations. Essentially, these laws ensure that lawsuits are brought within a reasonable time frame. It prevents plaintiffs from filing a suit decades after an alleged offense.

More specifically, statutes of limitations:

Ensure reasonable diligence. If you plan to file a suit against another person or company for an injury or claim, you should start the lawsuit within reasonable diligence. In other words, you should file the lawsuit as soon as is reasonably possible.

Preserve facts and evidence. Over time, memories fade and witness testimony becomes less reliable. Statutes of limitations help prevent the facts from becoming stale, unclear or misremembered. Additionally, waiting too long to file a lawsuit risks witnesses forgetting what happened, becoming incapacitated or dying.

Prevent malicious lawsuits. Putting time limits on the ability to file suits prevents people from taking action on stale claims merely for harassment purposes.

Florida civil statutes of limitations

Civil cases:  In Florida, statutes of limitations vary widely for civil cases. According to Florida Statutes, Section 95.11, the following time limits are in place for suits other than for the recovery of real property:

  • Action on a decree of court of record or on to recover on a Florida judgement carries a statute of limitations of 20 years.
  • For a city or county to recover unpaid property taxes the statute of limitations is 20 years
  • The statute of limitations for a breach of written contract is 5 years, but it’s 4 years for breach of an oral contract.
  • For a mortgage lender to begin foreclosure proceedings the statute of limitations is 5 years.
  • The statute of limitations is 5 years for willful violation of the Florida Minimum Wage Act, or 4 years if the violation was not willful.
  • The statute of limitations for fraud claims or claims involving the design, planning or construction of real property is 4 years.
  • The statute of limitations to rescind a contract is 4 years.
  • The statute of limitations for claims about the payment of wages or overtime pay is 2 years.
  • The statute of limitations for libel or slander cases is 2 years from the verbal or written offense.
  • The statute of limitations for claims to enforce the payment of a bond is 1 year.
  • The statute of limitations for property damage is 4 years from the date of the damage.

It is important to remember that statutes of limitations are somewhat fluid, and can be changed by law. For example, in 2022, the Florida state legislature proposed both HB 583 and SB 736. Both bills addressed construction defect claims, looking to shorten the amount of time homeowners had to sue over construction defects in a residence. Neither bill passed, but it speaks to how legislation can and often does alter certain statutes of limitations. If you are involved in a civil matter, you want to be sure to hire the services of an attorney who is up to speed on any changes in statutes of limitations in Florida. At ZinnLaw we are always up to date on Florida’s statutes of limitations.

Contact ZinnLaw for Assistance

Nearly all civil cases are subject to statutes of limitations. Talk with one of our experienced attorneys if you think you have a case that’s related to real estate, construction, or contract law. ZinnLaw of Fort Myers can help you understand how the statute of limitations applies to your case. Contact us today at (239) 418-1529 – that’s (239) I-1 U-1 LAW – to schedule a complimentary consultation.