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Louisiana Statute of Limitations

A stylized image of Louisiana with the words Statute of Limitations written on it

Statute of Limitations LA- Summary

Louisiana’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 Louisiana. 

Louisiana Civil Statute of Limitations

Louisiana’s civil statute of limitations sets deadlines under which lawsuits and other civil actions must be filed in the state. This state’s civil statutes are somewhat unusual in that almost all civil claims have a statute of limitations of one year, whereas most states have more variation. However, collections of rent and debts carry a three-year limit, and a ten-year period is allowed during which claims related to contracts and judgements can be filed.

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 Louisiana:

Injury to Person1 yr. Civ. Code §3492
Libel/Slander1 yr. Civ. Code §3492
Fraud1 yr. Civ. Code §3492
Injury to Personal Property1 yr. Civ. Code §3492
Professional Malpractice1 yr. Civ. Code §3492
Trespass1 yrs. Civ. Code §3492
Collection of Rents3 yrs. Civ. Code §3494(3)
ContractsWritten: 10 yrs. Civ. Code §3499; Oral: 10 yrs. Civ. Code §3499
Collection of Debt on Account3 yrs. Civ. Code §3494(4)
JudgmentsMonetary judgments: 10 yrs. Civ. Code §3501

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

Louisiana Criminal Statute of Limitations

Louisiana’s criminal statute of limitations sets time limits on the filing of criminal charges in the state. As it is in most states, Louisiana does not place a deadline on bringing charges for crimes considered especially heinous, including any crime punishable by death or life imprisonment, and forcible rape. The law says prosecutors can charge someone with one of these crimes no matter how much time has passed. 

In Louisiana, misdemeanors punishable by a fine or forfeiture carry a statute of limitations of six months, while misdemeanors punishable by a fine and/or prison must be prosecuted within two years.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitations in Louisiana:

Code SectionLouisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Tit. XVII, Art. 571, 572, 575
FeloniesCrimes punishable by death or life imprisonment: none; forcible rape: none; felony punishable by hard labor: 6 yrs.; felony not necessarily punishable by hard labor: 4 yrs.; forcible rape, sexual battery (aggravated), carnal knowledge, indecent behavior or molestation of juvenile, crime against nature involving victim under 17 yrs. of age: 10 yrs. beginning when victim turns 18.
MisdemeanorsPunishable by fine or forfeiture: 6 months; punishable by a fine and/or prison: 2 yrs.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not RunIf an alleged criminal is avoiding detection, fleeing, located out of state, absent residence in state; lacks mental capacity to proceed at trial.

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

Louisiana Recording Laws

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