statute of limitations(redirected from Period of prescription)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
statute of limitations
State and federal laws that place a time limit on the ability to make certain claims in a lawsuit.The various statutes are usually fairly clear and might provide 6 years for breach of contract, 2 years for negligence, and 10 years for rights to real property.The part that causes all the litigation is the question of “when does the time period start to run?”As a general rule of thumb, the clock starts ticking when there has been a harm that would give rise to the ability to sue. If a stairway is erected improperly in year 1,but there is no way to know this until it collapses in year 5, then the statute of limitations begins to run in year 5.