Statute of limitations facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Statutes of limitations are laws passed by a legislative body in common law systems to set the maximum time after an event when legal proceedings may be started. When the period of time specified in a statute of limitations passes, a legal claim can no longer be filed. The intention of these laws is to make sure legal cases are brought to trial in a reasonable length of time. In civil law (legal system) systems, similar provisions are typically part of their civil or criminal codes and known collectively as periods of prescription. The cause of action dictates the statute of limitations, which can be reduced (or extended) to ensure a fair trial. When a statute of limitations expires (runs out) in a criminal case, the courts no longer have jurisdiction. After that time has run out a person can no longer be placed on trial for that cause. However, once filed, cases do not need to be resolved within the period specified in the statute of limitations.

Statute of limitations Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.