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In law, a doctrine stating that one cannot knowingly let one's rights lie dormant and then suddenly assert them. For example, if one builds a home on another's property without the objection of the property owner, the property owner cannot sue for ownership of the house 10 years later. There is no time limit on laches.


A doctrine of equity,or fairness,holding that people cannot sleep on their rights and then, after the passage of time and possibly the intervening claims of other people,suddenly demand that the law fix everything.The concept is similar to a statute of limitations,except that it has no fixed time period and is totally dependent on the particular circumstances of a case.

Example: Ruby plants 10 pecan trees on the wrong side of her property line with Jake. Jake knew this when the first shovel of dirt was turned, but he remained silent. Seven years later Ruby begins harvesting pecans to supplement her income, but Jake sues her and claims the pecans belong to him. Most likely the court will rule that Jake's claims are barred by laches and Ruby may harvest pecans until the trees stop bearing.

References in periodicals archive ?
Virtual adoption and laches can not only prevent this result, but also can justify the imposition of at least a partial support obligation upon Peter Putative.
In that decision, Judge Pro ruled that the Lemelson patent claims were unenforceable under the doctrine of prosecution laches, and in addition, that the claims were invalid for lack of enablement, and not infringed by Cognex.
The most intriguing feature of Ion, Hippias Minor, Laches, Protagoras is Allen's commentary.
Synergetics' first motion for summary judgment involves the doctrines of laches and estoppel to bar the relief requested by Iridex.
This slipping back and forth between the concepts of knowledge and wisdom occurs also in other passages of the early dialogues where virtue is defined in terms of knowledge, notably the Laches and Charmides.
beaucoup moins que]Ils sont laches au point d'insulter le Premier ministre de ce pays[beaucoup plus grand que], a-t-il critique, utilisant le terme de [beaucoup moins que]vandales[beaucoup plus grand que] ou d'[beaucoup moins que]anarchiques[beaucoup plus grand que] pour designer les protestataires.
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reviewed the lower court's ruling in 2005, and did not rule on the disparagement issue, but determined that laches may not bar the petition of the youngest petitioner, Mateo Romero, because he reached the age of majority in 1984 and, therefore, may not be chargeable with prejudicial delay.
Roochnik makes his argument against the "standard account of techne" (SAT), based on readings of Laches, Charmides, Euthyphro, Republic (Book 1), and Euthydemus (p.
In a unanimous opinion, the justices ruled that a California Family Code amendment repealing the laches defense applies retroactively.
Concise discussions of selected early dialogues (Apology, Laches, Charmides, Clitopho, and Euthydemus) serve as warm-ups for the central task of the book--substantial chapters on the Symposium, Protagoras, Gorgias, Republic, and Phaedrus; a concluding chapter takes up topics in Theaetetus, Timaeus, and Laws.
The ruling of the Supreme Court of Arkansas, issued on December 4, 2003, found that the complaint brought in the trial court was barred by the doctrine of laches.
Meme les ballons, laches dans le ciel au moment oE le president francais se recueillait, ont fini par se poser quelque part.