2014 District of Columbia Code
Division II. Judiciary and Judicial Procedure
Title 12. Right to Remedy
Chapter 3. Limitation of Actions
§ 12–301. Limitation of time for bringing actions.

DC Code § 12–301. (2014) What's This?

Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, actions for the following purposes may not be brought after the expiration of the period specified below from the time the right to maintain the action accrues:

(1) for the recovery of lands, tenements, or hereditaments - 15 years;

(2) for the recovery of personal property or damages for its unlawful detention - 3 years;

(3) for the recovery of damages for an injury to real or personal property - 3 years;

(4) for libel, slander, assault, battery, mayhem, wounding, malicious prosecution, false arrest or false imprisonment - 1 year;

(5) for a statutory penalty or forfeiture - 1 year;

(6) on an executor's or administrator's bond - 5 years; on any other bond or single bill, covenant, or other instrument under seal - 12 years;

(7) on a simple contract, express or implied - 3 years;

(8) for which a limitation is not otherwise specially prescribed - 3 years;

(9) for a violation of § 7‑1201.01(11) - 1 year;

(10) for the recovery of damages for an injury to real property from toxic substances including products containing asbestos - 5 years from the date the injury is discovered or with reasonable diligence should have been discovered;

(11) for the recovery of damages arising out of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor - 7 years from the date that the victim attains the age of 18, or 3 years from when the victim knew, or reasonably should have known, of any act constituting abuse, whichever is later.

This section does not apply to actions for breach or contracts for sale governed by § 28:2-725, nor to actions brought by the District of Columbia government.

History

(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 510, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 677, Pub. L. 88-509, § 2; Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-136, § 805(c), 25 DCR 5055; Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-202, § 3, 34 DCR 527; Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104, § 2(a), 35 DCR 147; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 99, 51 DCR 881; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-368, § 2, 56 DCR 1338.)

Cross References

Adverse possession, limitation of actions, see § 16‑3301.

Breach of contract for sale, commencement of action after breach, see § 28:2-725.

Common carrier, commencement of action against for injury or death of employee, see § 35‑304.

Consumer protection procedures, limitation of actions, see § 28‑3905.

Hospital lien, limitation of enforcement, see § 40-303.

Income tax, limitation upon assessment and collection, see § 47‑1812.10.

Mechanics lien, limitation of enforcement action, see § 40‑303.13.

Quo warranto, commencement of action for usurpation of office, see § 16‑3548.

Return of property by Property Clerk, see § 5‑119.06.

Subways and viaducts, absence of limitation on action to recover part of costs, see § 9‑1201.15.

Unpaid wages or liquidated damages, limitation of actions, see § 32‑1013.

Usury, commencement of action, see § 28‑3304.

Viaduct costs, absence of limitation on recovery action, see § 9‑315.

Wrongful death actions, limitation of actions, see § 16‑2702.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8‑634.10, § 12‑308, and § 28‑3905.

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 12-301.

1973 Ed., § 12-301.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-105, in par. (9), substituted "§ 7‑1201.01(11)" for "the District of Columbia Mental Health Information Act of 1978 (D.C. Official Code, sec. 7-1201.01 et seq.)".

L.C. Law 17-368 added par. (11).

Legislative History of Law 2-136

Law 2-136, the "District of Columbia Mental Health Information Act of 1978," was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 2-144, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The Bill was adopted on first, amended first, second amended first, and second readings on July 11, 1978, July 25, 1978, September 19, 1978, July 25, 1978, September 19, 1978 and October 3, 1978, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on November 1, 1978, it was assigned Act No. 2-292 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review.

Legislative History of Law 6-202

For legislative history of D.C. Law 6-202, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 12‑311.

Legislative History of Law 7-104

Law 7-104, the "Technical Amendments Act of 1987," was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 7-346, which was referred to the Committee of the Whole. The Bill was Adopted on first and second readings on November 24, 1987, and December 8, 1987, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on December 22, 1987, it was assigned Act No. 7-124 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review.

Legislative History of Law 15-105

Law 15-105, the "Technical Amendments Act of 2003", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 15-437, which was referred to the Committee of the Whole. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on November 4, 2003, and December 2, 2003, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on January 6, 2004, it was assigned Act No. 15-291 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 15-105 became effective on March 13, 2004.

Legislative History of Law 17-368

Law 17-368, the "Intrafamily Offenses Act of 2008", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 17-55 which was referred to the Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on December 2, 2008, and December 16, 2008, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on January 22, 2009, it was assigned Act No. 17-703 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 17-368 became effective on March 25, 2009.

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