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North Dakota Civil Statute of Limitations

If you have been injured through the negligence of another person and plan to sue for damages, you must file your lawsuit within the time limits established by the civil statute of limitations. In fact, all civil actions and processes have a time limit, including judgments and collection on debt or rents. Different types of claims have different time limits, but they generally range from one to six years.

The "clock" begins tolling at the point the incident occurs in most cases, but there are exceptions. The "discovery rule," for instance, allows plaintiffs to file lawsuits years after the time limit has passed as long they can prove that the injury was not discovered until fairly recently. This rule is to account for people who had no way of knowing they were injured until much later, such as women being paid less than their male counterparts but not knowing this until years later.

This article provides a brief overview of North Dakota's civil statute of limitations laws.

North Dakota Civil Statute of Limitations: At a Glance

Time limits for filing civil lawsuits in North Dakota range from two to 10 years, with a six-year statute of limitations for most civil actions. Personal injury and injury to personal property lawsuits each have a six-year limit, while actions for defamation and professional malpractice have a two-year limit.

The following chart lists additional time limits for various civil actions in North Dakota. See FindLaw's Injury Law Basics section for more information.

for personal injury and 2 years for wrongful death

Injury to Person Six years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-16)
Wrongful Death Two years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-18)
Libel/Slander Two years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-18)
Fraud Six years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-16(6))
Injury to Personal Property Six years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-16(4))
Professional Malpractice Two years; (Medical: maximum six years) (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-18)
Trespass Six years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-16(3))
Collection of Rents Six years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-16(1))
Contracts Written: Six years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-16(1)) ); Oral: Six years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-16(1))
Collection of Debt on Account Six years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-16(1))
Judgments 10 years (N.D.C.C. § 28-01-15)

Note: State laws tend to change quite regularly, usually when signed legislation is enacted but sometimes through the decisions of higher courts and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact a North Dakota personal injury attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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North Dakota Civil Statute of Limitations: Related Resources

Filing a Civil Claim? Get Help From a North Dakota Attorney

In the "Peace Garden State," the civil statute of limitations is a firm deadline you won't want to miss. A good attorney can find the right cause of action that falls within North Dakota's statute of limitations so your case can proceed. If you have a personal injury matter, it's in your best interests to contact a North Dakota litigation attorney.

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