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Iowa Statutes of Limitations

All state (and federal) courts impose time limits, or "statutes of limitation," for either filing a civil complaint or formal criminal charges. The statutes of limitations are meant to ensure the integrity of evidence as well as to discourage individuals from threatening lawsuits indefinitely. The statutes of limitations typically differ by type of civil claim or criminal charge, although there are no time limits in most states for the most serious crimes, including first- and second-degree murder in Iowa. Time limits for most types of civil cases in Iowa range from two to five years, while most serious misdemeanors have a three-year statute of limitations.

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