2018 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 52 - Civil Actions
Chapter 926 - Statute of Limitations
Section 52-576 - Actions for account or on simple or implied contracts.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 52-576 (2018)

(a) No action for an account, or on any simple or implied contract, or on any contract in writing, shall be brought but within six years after the right of action accrues, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Any person legally incapable of bringing any such action at the accruing of the right of action may sue at any time within three years after becoming legally capable of bringing the action.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to actions upon judgments of any court of the United States or of any court of any state within the United States, or to any cause of action governed by article 2 of title 42a.

(1949 Rev., S. 8315; 1959, P.A. 574, S. 8; 1971, P.A. 18, S. 1; P.A. 82-160, S. 246.)

History: 1959 act deleted exception for nonnegotiable promissory notes and added provision re article 2 of title 42a; 1971 act referred to any “contract in writing” rather than to “any contract in writing not under seal”; P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section and inserted Subsec. indicators.

See Sec. 17b-122 re reimbursement of town by pauper.

Statute of limitations does not apply to continuing trusts. 33 C. 76; 102 C. 302; 104 C. 189. It applies to collecting agents. 32 C. 540. A book debt, if not recoverable in an action of book debt, by reason of statute, is not recoverable at all; 5 C. 342; unless there has been a new accounting. 6 C. 248. Where action at law is barred, one in equity will generally be also. 32 C. 538. Day on which note matures should be excluded in computing the 6 years. 43 C. 57. Note made by life legatee to testator and distributed to maker is not barred; his continued life use amounts to a payment of interest. 46 C. 443, 444. Section applies to money demand on executed simple contract. Id., 142. Statute begins to run against demand note from its date. Id., 437. Suit seasonably commenced but abated by defendant's death arrests running of statute. Id., 440. Implied trusts are within statute. 33 C. 77; 59 C. 156. Payment of interest on mortgage keeps claim alive, although the mortgage is afterward discovered to be invalid. 53 C. 180. Statute will not begin to run until there is someone who can sue and be sued; parties cannot defer the running of statute by their own laches. 61 C. 451. Action against guarantor of a nonnegotiable note is governed by this section and not by Sec. 52-573. 66 C. 461. It is a good defense to a claim made as a set-off, that it is barred by statute. 49 C. 92. If claim be barred, mechanic's lien to secure it cannot be enforced. 50 C. 271. Statutes de settlement of estates supersede general statutes of limitation. Id.; 52 C. 141. Does not run in favor of husband as statutory trustee of wife. 55 C. 221. When claim barred by statute may still be used in recoupment. Id., 432. Laches not to be imputed to one who sues within statutory period. Id., 578. When statute runs against a resulting trust. 62 C. 408. A domestic judgment is not included in section. 74 C. 656. Statute runs against claim for services to decedent rendered more than 6 years before death unless rendered on promise to pay by will. 80 C. 19; 82 C. 651; 83 C. 38. Where deceased promised to pay for services by will, right of action does not accrue until death, even where suit is on quantum meruit; 121 C. 97; same where deceased promised only heir to pay by not making will. 96 C. 384. When statute begins to run on demand note. 75 C. 431; 78 C. 267; 84 C. 55. A tax is not within section. 85 C. 378. Effect of failure to get order limiting time to present claims against an estate, where debtor dies. 75 C. 408. Action on endorsement of note not an action on note. 66 C. 457. In action on implied contract for use of land, treating possession as tenancy from year to year will not remove bar. 77 C. 7. When action for breach of contract accrues; 86 C. 494; advances by partner; 68 C. 459; settlement of partnership accounts; 68 C. 457; where payments are credited on account. 70 C. 434; 125 C. 199. Statute of limitations to run from the time when the cause of action accrues. 114 C. 170. Each item of a series of charges for services may be separate debt for purposes of statute. 129 C. 541; 134 C. 259. When applied to suit against surgeon for breach of implied contract to use reasonable care and skill. 103 C. 720, see 119 C. 507; 127 C. 386; 134 C. 259. Cited. 110 C. 414; 112 C. 368; 137 C. 691; 139 C. 220; 149 C. 326. Right of action on demand note accrues upon its execution and delivery. 116 C. 559. Due bill barred by section. 124 C. 294. Statute applies to wife's claim for support. 124 C. 547. Applies to action by employee to recover overtime pay and liquidated damages under federal Fair Labor Standards Act. 134 C. 246. Distinguished from Sec. 52-581; this section applies to executed parol contracts. Id., 259. Does not apply to action by municipality to recover assessment of benefits. 131 C. 50. Nor to statutory action by one town against another for reimbursement of expense of educating children. 132 C. 203. But applies to action by policeman against city to recover salary withheld. 134 C. 260. History of statute. Id., 266. Proof of existence and performance of contract unenforceable because statute of frauds is a sufficient answer to defense of statute of limitations, by showing that no action brought earlier could be maintained. Id., 536. Applies to executed contracts. Id., 585. Ignorance that damage has been done does not prevent running of statute, except where there is something tantamount to fraudulent concealment of cause of action. 135 C. 176. Court's finding that debt was barred, not supported by evidence. 136 C. 187. An unconditional promise to pay will not be implied if the acknowledgment of indebtedness, even though unequivocal, is accompanied by a conditional promise to pay; in such a situation the indebtedness remains barred until the condition has been met. 144 C. 403. Burden of proof on plaintiff to remove bar of statute; defense can be lost by an unequivocal acknowledgment or recognition of debt or payment on account. 145 C. 300. Statute of limitations was tolled because, although defendant stopped making specified payments provided for in support contract, he did provide money for the child's support which he intended to go toward the fulfillment of his contractual obligation. 153 C. 671. Cited. 165 C. 410. When plaintiff's performance of oral contract has been completely executed, this section and not Sec. 52-581 establishes applicable limitation period. 170 C. 243. Amended complaint which did not allege a new cause of action related back to date of complaint and thus claims therein were not barred by statute. 177 C. 191. Statute not applicable where plaintiff's attorney was legally incapable of bringing action; applies only to the contractual party. Id., 281. Cited. 178 C. 258; Id., 529; 184 C. 558; 191 C. 150; Id., 194; 192 C. 732; 196 C. 509; 199 C. 683; 205 C. 219; 210 C. 734; 214 C. 464; 228 C. 436; 233 C. 474; 239 C. 284; 240 C. 287. Doctrine of nullum tempus occurrit regi, i.e. no time runs against the king, exempts state from operation of section. 307 C. 412. Statute of limitations for tort action and not breach of contract action applies to claims against defendant law firm where complaint contained no allegation that defendant breached specific contract provision and relied on language typically used in negligence cases. 311 C. 282.

Cited. 1 CA 7. Statute is not tolled pending appointment of an administrator or executor. Id., 535. Creditor is entitled to compensation under an insurance policy loss payable clause even though his right to bring suit against debtor has been extinguished by running of statute of limitations. Id., 595. Where plaintiff filed an amended complaint listing additional defects in construction of new house, the identity of the cause of action remained the same so that the 6-year contract statute of limitations applied and the court properly allowed the amendment in its discretion. Id., 652. Cited. 3 CA 250; Id., 602; 5 CA 293. Right of action accrued upon completion of services rendered. Id., 465. Cited. 6 CA 212; 11 CA 375; 12 CA 529; 17 CA 159; 30 CA 803; 33 CA 702; 34 CA 395; Id., 732; 39 CA 289; 42 CA 426; 43 CA 435; 45 CA 466. Section's 6-year statute of limitations applied to executed oral contract, as opposed to 3-year statute of limitations in Sec. 52-581 which applies only to executory contracts. 76 CA 599. If a legal malpractice case is not ripe for adjudication until damage caused by alleged malpractice becomes evident upon final judgment in the underlying action, statute is tolled until such final judgment is rendered. 89 CA 690.

Time when statute begins to run. 3 CS 209. Cited. 5 CS 205. “I will take care of it as soon as I can” takes debt out of statute. 7 CS 48. Cited. Id., 145. Applies to action for recovery of loan not evidenced in writing and loan not signed by borrower. 8 CS 264. Cited. Id., 363. The law of the locus rather than the forum governs statute of limitations. 9 CS 399. A payment to toll statute of limitations must be made or authorized by the debtor. 10 CS 371. Claim of physician not barred by statute of limitations because it was found to be an open running account. Id., 494. Payment of interest and principal by grantee of the equity of redemption does not keep statute of limitation from tolling against the liability of the mortgagor on the note. 11 CS 461. Cited. 12 CS 286. Does not apply to a town's right to reimbursement under Sec. 10-253; history. 13 CS 58. Cited. Id., 174. When services have been rendered by police officers, an implied contract to pay them arises and statute of limitations for contracts is applicable. 14 CS 130. Distinction between legal damage and apparent damage. Id., 464. Cited. 17 CS 61. There is no statute of limitations regarding domestic judgments; the prima facie presumption of payment, which arises after 20 years, presents the only limitation of time to the collection of a domestic judgment. Id., 134. Where plaintiff alleges promise by defendant's intestate during his lifetime to pay for services out of his estate, cause of action does not accrue until intestate's death. 18 CS 133. Statute should not be passed upon by demurrer to complaint unless matters in avoidance of it have been voluntarily inserted in complaint. 19 CS 85. Institution of arbitration proceedings not the bringing of “action” under statute. 25 CS 76. Cited. 28 CS 162; 29 CS 501. Applied retroactively, absent express intent to the contrary. 30 CS 596. Mental incompetence does not toll the 6-year limitation, but imprisonment may. 31 CS 46. Cited. 34 CS 22; 35 CS 199. Applicable where plaintiff's performance was completely executed, in contrast to applicability of Sec. 52-501 to executory contracts. 37 CS 735. Cited. 39 CS 458; 42 CS 348; 44 CS 207. Doctrine of nullum tempus occurrit regi does not operate to exempt state from statute of limitations. 51 CS 265.

In order for statute of limitation to be available as a defense, it must be pleaded; if a party fails to plead it, he is deemed to have waived it and plaintiff may recover, notwithstanding that the period has run. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 569, 571. Cited. 4 Conn. Cir. Ct. 366, 367.

Subsec. (a):

Statute of limitations does not begin to run on claim for underinsured benefits until tortfeasor's liability limits have been exhausted. 251 C. 106. Re claim for uninsured motorist benefits, statute of limitations does not begin to run until plaintiff knew or should have known the tortfeasor was uninsured, and in this case plaintiff could not have known the tortfeasor was uninsured until she received answers to her interrogatories which thereby put her on notice there was no insurance coverage for the accident. 255 C. 601.

Where arbitration clause in insurance policy meant underinsured motorist claimant could not maintain an action against provider until all underlying insurance was exhausted, right of action did not accrue, and statute of limitations did not begin, until that time. 49 CA 653. Accrual date or date that plaintiff properly could have maintained an action against defendant was date when plaintiff was notified of lack of insurance coverage and not date of the accident. 54 CA 724. In a claim for attorney's fees, where plaintiff attorney continued to represent defendant client's interests, statute of limitations did not begin to toll until attorney's motion to withdraw his appearance had been granted. 72 CA 158. Waiver of statute of limitations included as a delay in enforcement clause at the inception of a mortgage note is void and unenforceable. 84 CA 675. Continuous representation doctrine not applicable to contract for architectural services; statute not tolled where contract divided payment into monthly segments and breach of contract occurred at the time of each nonpayment. 148 CA 728.

When debtor defaults on obligation payable in installments, statute of limitations on installments due in the future does not run until installment becomes due or irreversible acceleration of the debt occurs. 45 CS 325.

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