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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 ?
Despite the ruling in Petrella barring the laches defense, the Federal Circuit narrowly upheld the laches defense against patent infringement claims.
Contractor address : Unit 4, Calibre Industrial Park, Laches Close, Four Ashes
Although laches is meant to serve as an equitable check on an otherwise owner-friendly rule that was anomalous in its disregard for a diligence duty, it fails to achieve equity and fairness in a Holocaust restitution dispute between two innocents.
Se resalta la presencia de la especie Taygetis laches solo para el sector Pitilla, especie asociada a areas poco alteradas o con acceso facil a la oferta trofica, de igual manera se observa la especie Heliconius erato en los dos sectores, especie asociada a areas intervenidas (ANDRADE-C.
He discusses the people in them, including Socrates, and how Socrates argues, then considers the Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Hippias Major, Ion, Laches, Meno, Protagoras, and Symposium, delving into specific passages in each.
Dix pigeons ont ete laches a cette occasion en signe de commemoration du dixieme anniversaire de SAR le Prince Heritier Moulay El Hassan.
He has in mind as Socratic the Apology, Laches, Protagoras and so on--everything Socratic other than the Symposium, Phaedo, Theatetus, Philebus, and the last nine books of the Republic.
Une grande affliction et une profonde tristesse regnent sur les sites du reseau social, suite aux incidents criminels laches de Rafah.
The Court found that this delay, along with other factors, also combined to bar Ultimax from asserting infringement claims against CTS pursuant to the "doctrines of laches and equitable estoppel.
55) The owners of the team had filed several arguments, including a laches argument that the Native American petitioners had sat on their rights for too long and therefore this cancellation action should end.
The court, however, found that, although since Rodrigue federal maritime law could not apply, the federal-law doctrine of laches applied and thus rendered the state prescriptive period irrelevant (or "inapplicable").
1m in the Los Laches area of the Angostura gold-silver project.