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Iowa Civil Statute of Limitations Laws

There are many factors to consider if you plan on taking steps in a court of law to address an injury you may have suffered. States create civil statutes of limitations in order to set a final deadline for filing lawsuits and other civil actions. Depending on the type of case, the limitations laws in Iowa can vary from two to 20 years. The statutory "clock" on civil claims, like for physical injury or financial fraud, starts ticking on the date of the incident or, in some cases, the discovery of the harm.

Civil statutes of limitations are intended to create fairness and general predictability when it comes to filing lawsuits. They are an attempt to balance the interest in giving the injured party ample time to file a legal claim with the competing interest in a potential defendant not having an unfinished legal matter hanging over their head indefinitely. Statutes of limitations are the legal system's way of creating a definitive timeline for legal conflicts so the parties involved can plan accordingly.

This article provides a brief overview of the civil statutes of limitations in Iowa.

Statutes of Limitation in Iowa: At a Glance

The chart below lists the details of Iowa's civil statutes of limitations. See Time Limits to Bring a Case: The Statute of Limitations for more general information.

Code Section

Iowa Code Annotated (I.C.A.) § 614 et seq.

Injury to Person

Two years (I.C.A. § 614.1(2))


Two years (I.C.A. § 614.1(2))


Five years (I.C.A. § 614.1(4))

Injury to Personal Property

Five years (I.C.A. § 614.1(4))

Professional Malpractice

Two years from reasonable discovery; max. of six years from act (I.C.A. § 614.1(9))


Five years (I.C.A. § 614.1(4))

Collection of Rents

Five years (I.C.A. § 614.1(5)(b))


Collection of Debt on Account

Five years (I.C.A. § 614.1(5)(b))


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Civil Statute of Limitations Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Help With Your Civil Suit

Iowa's civil statute of limitations depends on the type of claim involved and the nature of the harm alleged. A good Iowa attorney can work to find any cause of action that falls within Iowa's statute of limitations and help you get the maximum compensation you're entitled to. If you are dealing with a personal injury matter that merits compensation, it's in your best interests to contact an Iowa injury attorney.

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