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Kentucky Statute of Limitations

A stylized image of the state of Kentucky with the words statute of limitations overlaid on top of it

Statute of Limitations KY- Summary

Kentucky’s statute of limitations establishes a deadline before which civil cases – such as lawsuits – must be filed in the state. In relation to criminal charges, it also prevents prosecutors from charging an individual with a crime after a specified period of time has passed. The statutes of limitations for different civil actions and crimes can vary from state to state, so read on for more information about how they apply in Kentucky. 

Kentucky Civil Statute of Limitations

Kentucky’s civil statute of limitations sets deadlines under which lawsuits and other civil actions must be filed in the state. These limits typically range from one – fifteen years, depending on the type of case or procedure. The date or discovery of an incident is usually when time starts counting down. Kentucky’s civil statute of limitations largely corresponds with similar laws in every state. 

Be aware that if you fail to file your civil claim before the established deadline, the opposing party can use the statute of limitations in their defense and file a motion to dismiss the case on the basis that the time allotted to file it has already passed. Any legal claim will be lost forever once your case is dismissed. 

A summary of civil statutes of limitations in Kentucky:

Code SectionKentucky Revised Statutes 413.010, et seq.: Limitation of Actions
Injury to Person1 yr. §413.140(1)(a)
Libel/Slander1 yr. §413.140(1)(d)
Fraud5 yrs. §413.120(12)
Injury to Personal Property2 yrs. §413.125
Professional MalpracticeProfessional service: 1 yr. §413.245; Medical: 1 yr. §413.140(e)
Trespass5 yrs. §413.120(4)
Collection of RentsIf prescribed by written contract then 15 yrs.
ContractsWritten: 15 yrs. §413.090(2); Oral: 5 yrs. §413.120 (1)
Collection of Debt on Account5 yrs. §413.120
Judgments15 yrs. §413.090(1)

State laws related to filing lawsuits can change often. While our goal is to provide the most current information available, please consider contacting a Kentucky attorney or doing legal research of your own to verify the state law(s) you’re researching. 

Kentucky Criminal Statute of Limitations

Kentucky’s criminal statute of limitations sets time limits on the filing of criminal charges in the state, and in Kentucky all felonies carry zero statute of limitations. This means that the law says prosecutors can charge someone with a felony crime no matter how much time has passed. Misdemeanors of violations in most cases must be prosecuted within one year.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitations in Kentucky:

Code SectionKentucky Revised Statutes Section 500.050 – Time Limitations
FeloniesAll felonies: none.
MisdemeanorsMisdemeanors or violations: 1 year, unless stated otherwise
Acts During Which Statute Does Not RunIf an alleged criminal is in hiding or out of state; If the victim of a misdemeanor crime under Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 510: Sexual Offenses (such as rape, sodomy, or sexual abuse) was under 18 when the crime occurred, the offense doesn’t need to be prosecuted within one year. In that case the prosecution must begin within 5 yrs. after the victim turns.

State laws are always subject to change. While our goal is to provide the most current information available, please consider contacting a Kentucky attorney or doing legal research of your own to verify the state law(s) you’re researching. 

Kentucky Recording Laws