47. Florida. 1. As to lands. Writs of formedon in descender, remainder, or
reverter, must be brought within twenty years. Act of Nov. 10, 1828, sec. 1,
Duval; 154. Infants, femes covert, persons non compos mentis, or prisoners, may.
sue within ten years after disability is removed. Id. s. 2. A writ of right on
seisin of ancestor or predecessor within fifty years; other possessory action on
seisin of ancestor or predecessor, within forty years; real action on
plaintiff's possession or seisin within thirty years. Id. sec. 3.
48. - 2. As to personal actions. All actions upon the case, other than for
slander, actions for accounts, for trespass, debt, detinue, and replevin for
goods and chattels, and actions of trespass quare clausum fregit, within five
years. Actions of trespass, assault, battery, wounding and imprisonment, or any
of them, within three years; and actions for words within one year. Id. s. 4.
There is a saving in favor of infants, femes covert, persons non compos mentis,
imprisoned, or beyond seas, or out of the country, who may bring suit within the
same time after the disability has been removed. All actions on book accounts
shall be brought within two years.
49. - 3. As to crimes. All offences not punishable with death, shall be
prosecuted within two years. Act of Feb. 10, 1882, s. 78. All actions, suits and
presentments upon penal acts of the general assembly, shall be prosecuted within
one year. Act of Nov. 19, 1828, s. 18.
50. Georgia. 1. As to lands. Seven years' adverse possession of lands is a
bar, with a saving in favor of infants, femes covert, persons non compos mentis,
imprisoned or beyond seas.
51. - 2. As to personal actions. Twenty years is a bar in personal actions,
on bonds under seal; other obligations not under seal, six years; trespass quare
clausum fregit, three years trespass, assault and battery, two years; slander
and qui tam actions, six months. There are savings in favor of infants, femes
covert, persons non composmentis, imprisoned and beyond seas.
52. No other savings in favor of citizens of other states or foreigners.
53. As to crimes. In cases of murder there is no limitation. In all other
criminal cases where the punishment is death or perpetual imprisonment, seven
years; other felonies, four years; cases punishable by fine and imprisonment,
two years. Prince's Dig. 573-579. Acts of 1767, 1813, and 1833. See 1 Laws of
Geo. 33; 2 Id. 344; 3 Id. 30; Pamphlet Laws, 1833, p. 143.
54. Illinois. 1. As to lands. No statute on this subject.
55. - 2. As to personal actions. All actions of trespass quare clausum
fregit; all actions of trespass, detinue, actions sur trover, and replevin for
taking away goods and chattels, all actions of account, and upon the case, other
than such accounts as concern the trade of merchandise between merchant and
merchant, their factors and servants; all actions of debt, grounded upon any
lending or contract without specialty; all actions of debt for arrearages of
rent; all actions of assault, menace, battery, wounding, and imprisonment, or
any of them, which shall be sued or brought, shall be commenced within the
following times, and not after actions upon the case, other than for slander;
actions of account, and actions of trespass, debt, detinue and replevin for
goods and chattels, and actions of trespass quare clausum fregit, within five
years next after the cause of action or suit, and not after; and the actions of
trespass for assault, battery, wounding, imprisonment, or any of them, within
three years next after cause of action or suit, and not after; and actions for
slander, within one year next after the words spoken. There are no savings, by
the statute, in favor of citizens of other states, or foreigners.
56. Indiana. 1. As to lands. "No action of ejectment shall be commenced for
the recovery of lands or tenements against any person or persons who may have
been in the quiet and peaceable possession of the same under an adverse title
for twenty years, either in his own right, or the right of any other person or
persons under whom he claims; and any action of ejectment commenced against the
provisions of this act shall be dismissed at the cost of the party commencing
the same. Provided, however, that this act shall not be so construed as to
affect any person who may be a feme covert, non compos mentis, a minor, or any
person beyond the seas, within five years after such disability is removed."
Rev. Code, c. 36, see. 3, January 13, 1831.
57. - 2. As to personal actions. "All actions of debt on simple contract, and
for rent in arrear, action on the case, (other than slander,) actions of
account, trespass quare clausum fregit, detinue, and replevin for goods and
chattels, shall be commenced within five years after the cause of action
accrued, and not after. All actions of trespass, for assault and battery, and
for wounding and imprisonment, shall be commenced within three years, and not
after." Rev. Code, 6. 81, sec. 12, January 29, 1831.
58. - 3. Crimes. "All criminal prosecutions for offences, the affixed penalty
of which is three dollars, or less, shall be commenced within thirty days,"
&c. "All prosecutions for offences, except those the fixed penalties of
which do not exceed three dollars, and except treason, murder, arson, burglary,
man stealing, horse stealing, and forgery, shall be instituted within two years,
&c." Revised Code, c. 26, Feb. 10, 1831.
59. - 4. Penal actions. "All actions upon any act of assembly, now or
hereafter to be made, when the right is limited to the party aggrieved, shall be
commenced within two years, &c., and all actions of slander shall be
commenced within one year, &c., saving the right of infants, femes covert,
persons non compos mentis, or without the jurisdiction of the United States,
until one year after their several disabilities are removed." Sec. 12.
60. - 5. Savings. Provided, that no statute of limitation shall ever be
pleaded as a bar, or operate as such on an instrument or contract in writing,
whether the same be sealed or unsealed, nor to running accounts between merchant
and merchant. Rev. Code, eh. 81, s. 12.
61. And provided further, that on all contracts made in this state, if the
defendant shall be without the same when the cause of action accrued, said
action shall not be barred until the times above limited shall have expired,
after the defendant shall have come within the jurisdiction thereof, and on all
contracts made without the state, if the defendant shall have left the state or
territory when the same was made, and come within the jurisdiction of this state
before the cause of action accrued thereon, the plaintiff shall not be barred
his right of action, until the time above limited after the said demand shall
have been brought within the jurisdiction of this state. Rev. Code, ch. 81, s.
62. Kentucky. 1. As to lands. The act of limitation takes effect in a writ of
right or other possessory action, in thirty years from the seisin of the
demandant or his ancestors. In ejectment, in twenty years. See 1 Litt. 380, and
Sessions Acts 1838-9, page 330. In the action of ejectment, there is a saving in
favor of infants; persons insane or imprisoned; femes covert, to whom lands have
descended during the coverture, when their cause of action ac- crued. These
persons may sue within three years after the removal of the disability. 5 Litt.
90; Id. 97. There is no saving, in favor of non-residents or absent persons. 5
Litt. 90; 4 Bibb, 561. But when the possession has been held for seven years
under a connected title in law or equity deducible of record from the
commonwealth, claiming title under an adverse entry, survey or patent, no writ
of ejectment or other possessory action can be commenced. In this case there is
a saying in favor of infants, &c., as above, and of persons out of the
United States, in the service of the United States, or of this state, who may
bring actions seven years after the removal of the disability. 4 Litt. 55.
63. - 2. As to personal actions. The act of limitation operates on simple
contracts (except store accounts) in five years. Torts to the person, three
years. Torts, except torts to the person, five years. Slander, one year. Store
accounts, one year from the delivery of each article; except in cases of the
death of the creditor or debtor before the expiration of one year, when the
further time of one year is allowed after such death.
64. Savings in such actions of simple contracts, tort, slander, and upon
store accountt, in favor of infants, femes covert, persons imprisoned or insane
at the time such action accrued, who have the full time aforesaid after the
removal of their respective disabilities to commence their suit. But if the
defendant, in any of said personal actions, absconds, or conceals himself by
removal out of the country or county where he resides when the cause of action
accrues, or by any other indirect ways or means defeats or obstructs the
bringing of such suit or action, such defendant shall not be permitted to plead
the act of limitations. 1 Litt. 380. There is no saving in favor of
non-residents or persons absent. Act of 1823, s. 3, Session Acts, p. 287.
65. Louisiana. The Civil Code, book 3, title 23, chapter 1, section 3,
provides as follows:
66. - §I. Of the prescription of one year. Art. 3499. The action of justices
of the peace and notaries, and persons performing their duties, as well as
constables, for the fees and emoluments which are due to them in their official
capacity that of muters and instructors in the arts and sciences, for lessons
which they give by the month; that of innkeepers and such others, on account of
lodging and board which they furnish; that of retailers of provisions and
liquors; that of workmen, laborers, and servants, for the payment of their
wages; that for the payment of the freight of ships and other vessels, the wages
of the officers, sailors, and others of the crew; that for the supply of wood
and other things necessary for the construction, equipment, and provisioning of
ships and other vessels, are prescribed by one year.
67. - 3500. In the cases mentioned in the preceding article, the prescription
takes place, although there may have been a regular coutinuauce of supplies, or
of labor, or other service. It only ceases, from the time when there has been an
account acknowledged, a note or bond, or a suit instituted. However, with
respect to the wages of officers, sailors, and others of the crew of a ship,
this prescription runs only from the day when the voyage is completed.
68. - 3501. The actions for injurious words, whether verbal or written, and
that for damages caused by slaves or animals, or resulting from offences or
quasi offences; that which a possessor may institute, to have himself
main-tained or restored to his possession, when he has been disturbed or
evicted; that for the delivery of merchandise or other effects, shipped on board
any kind of vessels; that for damage sustained by merchandise on board ships, or
which may have happened by ships running foul of each other, are prescribed by
69.- 3502. The prescription mentioned in the preceding article, runs, with
respect to the merchandise injured or not delivered from the day of the arrival
of the vessel, or that on which she ought to have arrived; and in the other
cases, from that on which the injurious words, disturbance, or damage were
70. - §II. Of the prescription of three years. Art. 3503. The action for
arrearages of rent charge, annuities and alimony, or of the hire of movables or
immovables; that for the payment of money lent; for the salaries of overseers,
clerks, secretaries, and of teachers of the sciences, for lessons by the year or
quarter; that of physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries, for visits, opera-
tions, and medicines: that of parish judges sheriffs, clerks, and attorneys, for
their fees and emoluments, are prescribed by three years, unless there be an
account acknowledged, a note or bond given, or an action commenced before that
71. - 3504. The action of parties against their attorneys for the return of
papers delivered to them for the interest of their suits, is prescribed also by
three years, reckoning from the day when judgment was rendered in the suit, or
from the revocation of the powers of the attorneys.
72. - §III. Of the prescription of five years. Art. 3505. Actions on bills of
exchange, notes payable to order or bearer, except bank notes, those on all
effects negotiable or transferable by endorsement or delivery, are prescribed by
five years, reckoning from the day when these engagements were payable.
73. - 3506. The prescription mentioned in the preceding article, and those
described above in the paragraphs, I. and II., run against minors and
interdicted persons, reserving, however, to them their recourse against their
tutors or curators. They run also against persons residing out of the state.
74. - 3507. The action of nullity or rescission of contracts, testaments, or
other acts; that for the reduction of excessive donations; that for the
rescission of partitions and guaranty of the portions, are prescribed by five
years when the person entitled to exercise them is in the state, and ten years
if he be out of it. This prescription only commences against minors after their
75. - §IV. Of the prescription of ten years. Art. 3508. In general, all
personal actions, except those above enumerated, are prescribed by ten years, if
the creditor be present, and by twenty years, if he be absent.
76. - 3509. The action against an undertaker or architect, for defect of
construction of buildings of brick or stone, is prescribed by ten years.
77. - 3610. If a master suffer a slave to enjoy his liberty for ten years,
during his residence in the state, or for twenty years while out of it, he shall
lose all right of action to recover possession of the slave, unless the slave be
a runaway or fugitive.
78. - 3511. The rights of usufruct, use and habitation, and services, are
lost, by non-use for ten years, if the person having a right to enjoy them, be
in the state, and by twenty years, if he be absent.
79. - §V. Of the prescription of thirty years. Art. 3512. All actions for
immovable property, or for an entire estate as a succession, are prescribed by
thirty years, whether the parties be present, or absent from the state.
80. - 3513. Actions for the revindication of slaves are prescribed by fifeen
years, in the same manner as in the preceding article.
81. - §VI. Of the rules relative to the prescription operating a discharge
from debts. Art. 3514. In cases of prescription releasing debts, one may
prescribe against a title created by himself, that is, against an obligation
which be has contracted.
82. - 3515. Good faith not being required on the part of the person pleading
this prescription, the creditor cannot compel him or his heirs to swear whether
the debt has or has not been paid, but can only blame himself for not having
taken his measures within the time directed by law; and it may be that the
debtor may not be able to take any positive oath on the subject.
83. - 3516. The prescription releasing debts is interrupted by all such
causes as interrupt the prescription by which property is acquired, and which
have been explained in the first section of this chapter. It is also interrupted
by the causes explained in the following articles.
84. - 3517. A citation served upon one joint debtor or his acknowledgment of
the debt, interrupts the prescription with regard to all the others and, even
their heirs. A citation served on one of the heirs of a joint debtor, or the
acknowledgment of such heir, does not interrupt the prescription with regard to
the other heirs, even if the debt was by mortgage, if the obligation be not
indivisible. This citation or acknowledgment does not interrupt the
prescription, with regard to the other co-debtors, except for that portion for
which such heir is bound. To interrupt this prescription for the whole, with
regard to the other co-debtors, it is necessary, either that the citations be
served on all, or the acknowledgment be made by all the heirs.
85. - 3518. A citation served on the principal debtor, or his acknowledgment,
interrupts the prescription on the part of the surety.
86. - 3519. Prescription does not run against minors and persons under
interdiction, except in the cases specified above.
87. - 3520. Prescription runs against the wife, even although she be not
separated of property by marriage contract or by authority of law, for all such
credits as she brought in marriage to her husband, or for whatever has been
promised to her in dower; but the husband continues responsible to her.
88. Maine. 1. As to real actions. The writ of right is limited to thirty
years writ of ancestral seisin, twenty-five years writ of entry on party's own
seisin, twenty years. Stat. of Maine, eh. 62, §1, 2, 3. But by the revised
statutes, all real actions are limited to twenty years, from the time the right
accrues. They took effect on the first day of April, 1843. Rev. Stat. T. 10, ch.
140, §1. And writs of right and of formedon are abolished after that time. Rev.
Stat. ch. 145, §1.
89. - 2. As to personal actions. When founded on simple contract, they are
limited after six years; Rev. Stat. T. 10, ch. 146, §1; on specialties, twenty
years. Id. §11. Personal actions founded on torts are limited to six years,
except trespass for assault and battery, false imprisonment, slanderous words
and libels, which are limited to two years. Id. §1.
90. - 3. As to penal actions. When brought by individuals having an interest
in the penalty or forfeiture, they are limited to one year; Rev. Stat. T. 10, c.
146, §15; when prosecuted by the state, two years. Id. §16.
91. - 4. As to crimes. Prosecutions for crimes must be commenced within six
years when the party charged has publicly resided within the state, except in
cases of treason, murder, arson, and manslaughter. Rev. Stat. T. 12, c. 167,
92. Maryland. 1. As to lands. The statute of 21 Jac. I. c. 16, is in force in
93. - 2. As to personal actions. By the Act of Assembly, 1715, c. 23, actions
of account; upon the case; or simple contract; or book debt or account; and of
debt not of specialty; detinue and replevin for taking away goods and chattels;
and trespass quare clausum fregit; must be brought within three years ensuing
the cause of action, and not after; other actions of trespass, of assault,
battery, wounding and imprisonment, within one year from the time of the cause
of action accruing; from these provisions are excepted, however, such accounts
as concern the trade of merchandise between merchant and merchant, their factors
and servants which are not resident within this [province] state. This statute
also enacts, that no bill, bond, judgment, or recognizance, statute merchant or
of the staple, or other specialty whatsoever, (except such as shall be taken in
the name or for the use of our sovereign the king, &c.) shall be "good and
pleadable, or admitted in evidence" against any person of this [province] state,
after the principal debtor and creditor have both been dead twelve years, or the
debt or thing in action above twelve years standing.
94. Persons laboring under the impediments of infancy, coverture, insanity or
imprisonment, are not barred until five years after the disability has been
removed. And when a personal action abates by the death of the defendant, the
plaintiff may at any time renew his suit, provided it be commenced without delay
after letters testamentary have been granted.
95. Defendants, when absent from the state at the time the cause of action
accrued, cannot compute the time of their absence in order to bar the plaintiff,
but the latter may prosecute the same after the presence in the state of the
persons liable thereto, within the time or times limited by the acts of
limitation in such actions.