statute of limitations

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A statute of limitations, known in civil law systems as a prescriptive period, is a law passed by a legislative body to set the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated.When the time specified in a statute of limitations passes, a claim might no longer be filed or, if filed, may be subject to dismissal if the defense against that claim is raised that the claim is time-barred as having been filed after the statutory limitations period. When a statute of limitations expires in a criminal case, the courts no longer have jurisdiction. Most crimes that have statutes of limitations are distinguished from serious crimes as these may be brought at any time.In civil law systems, such provisions are typically part of their civil or criminal codes. The cause of action dictates the statute of limitations, which can be reduced (or extended) to ensure a fair trial. The intention of these laws is to facilitate resolution within a "reasonable" length of time. What amount of time is considered "reasonable" varies from country to country. In the United States, it may vary from state to state. Within countries, the statute of limitations may vary from one civil or criminal action to another. Some countries have no statute of limitations whatsoever.
Analysis of a statute of limitations also requires the examination of any associated statute of repose, tolling provisions, and exclusions.

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