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Maryland Statute of Limitations

A stylized image of Maryland with the words statute of limitations on it

Statute of Limitations MD- Summary

Maryland’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 Maryland. 

Maryland Civil Statute of Limitations

Maryland’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 – twelve years, depending on the type of case or procedure. The date or discovery of an incident is usually when time starts counting down.

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 Maryland:

Injury to Person3 yrs. Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-105
Libel/Slander1 yr. Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-105
Fraud3 yrs. (generally) Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-101
Injury to Personal Property3 yrs. (generally) Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-101
Professional MalpracticeMedical: 5 yrs. from injury or 3 yrs. from discovery, whichever period is shorter (max. 7) Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-109
Trespass3 yrs. (generally) Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-101
Collection of Rents3 yrs. (generally) Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-101
ContractsWritten: 3 yrs.; 12 yrs. if under seal Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-101; 5-102(a)(5)
Collection of Debt on Account3 yrs. Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-101
Judgments12 yrs. Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-102(a)(3)

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

Maryland Criminal Statute of Limitations

Maryland’s criminal statute of limitations sets time limits on the filing of criminal charges in the state. As it is in most states, Maryland does not place a deadline on bringing charges for crimes considered especially heinous, including murder, manslaughter, and unlawful homicide The law says prosecutors can charge someone with one of these crimes no matter how much time has passed. Most misdemeanors have a statute of limitations of one year in Maryland, but misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment have no statute of limitations. Please view the chart below for a full list of the statutes of limitation provided for various crimes in Maryland.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitations in Maryland:

Code SectionMaryland Code: Courts and Judicial Proceedings:
Section 5-106
Section 5-107
Maryland Code: Criminal Law:
Section 2-102 (Murder)
No Statute of Limitations– Murder
– Manslaughter
– Unlawful homicide
– Misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment
Three Year Statute of Limitations – Solicitation to commit first degree murder
– Second degree murder
– First degree arson
– Second degree arson
– Vehicular manslaughter or homicide
– Welfare or Medicaid fraud
– Tax-related violations
– Sex discrimination in income
– Compensation in relation to adoption
– Practicing medicine in an unauthorized capacity
– Misdemeanors related to state election law
– Violations under the Maryland Charitable Solicitations Act
– Specific firearms violations (straw sales to minors and illegal sales, transfers, rentals, possession)
– Specific computer crimes
– Specific health occupation offenses (relating to acupuncturists, nursing home administrators, nurses, and professional counselors and therapists)
– Misdemeanor offenses under the Insurance Article
Two Year Statute of Limitations – Misdemeanors under the Maryland Public Ethics Law
– Criminal malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office committed by a state official (or conspiracy to commit such acts)
– Using a driver’s license unlawfully
– Fraudulently using a fake name while applying for a driver’s license
– Violations under the fish and fisheries and wildlife provisions of the Natural Resources Article
– Abuse or neglect of a defenseless adult
– Child pornography crimes
30 Days – Sabbath breaking or drunkenness
– Selling alcoholic beverages to a minor
– Selling alcoholic beverages after hours (Allegany County)
Misdemeanors Most misdemeanors: 1 year

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

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