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Missouri Statute of Limitations

A stylized image of the state of Missouri with the words statute of limitations written on it

Statute of Limitations MO- Summary

Missouri’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 Missouri. 

Missouri Civil Statute of Limitations

Missouri’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 two – ten 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 Missouri:

Injury to Person5 yrs. §516.140
Libel/Slander2 yrs. §516.140
Fraud10 yrs. §516.120(5)
Injury to Personal Property5 yrs. §516.120(4)
Professional MalpracticeMedical: 2 yrs. from discovery, max. 10. §516.105
Trespass5 yrs. §516.120(3)
Collection of Rents10 yrs. §516.110(3)
ContractsWritten: 5 yrs. §516.120(1); Written (for payment of money or property): 10 yrs. §516.110; Oral: 5 yrs. §516.120(1)
Collection of Debt on Account10 yrs. if in writing §516.10(1)
Judgments10 yrs. §516.350

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

Missouri Criminal Statute of Limitations

Missouri’s criminal statute of limitations sets time limits on the filing of criminal charges in the state. As it is in most states, Missouri does not place a deadline on bringing charges for crimes considered especially heinous, including murder and Class A felonies. The law says prosecutors can charge someone with one of these crimes no matter how much time has passed. 

Most other felonies carry a statute of limitations of three years in Missouri. Misdemeanors generally must be prosecuted within one year, and infractions have a deadline of six months.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitations in Missouri:

Code SectionMissouri Revised Statutes Title XXXVIII. Crimes and Punishment; Peace Officers and Public Defenders § 556.036: Time Limitations
FeloniesMurder or Class A felony: none; sexual offenses involving person under 17 yrs. old: 10 yrs.; if fraud or breach of fiduciary duty is material element of offense: 1-3 yrs. after discovery; official misconduct: 2-3 yrs. after offense or public employment; other felonies: 3 yrs.
Misdemeanors1 year; infractions: 6 months
Acts During Which Statute Does Not RunIf alleged criminal is absent from state or in hiding, prosecution pending for same conduct, lacks mental fitness: maximum 3 yr. extension

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

Missouri Recording Laws