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Montana Statute of Limitations

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

Statute of Limitations MT- Summary

Montana’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 Montana. 

Montana Civil Statute of Limitations

New York’s civil statute of limitations sets deadlines under which lawsuits and other civil actions must be filed in the state. These limits 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 Montana:

Injury to PersonInjury: 3 yrs; Assault & Battery: 2 yrs. §27-2-204(3); Wrongful Death: 3 yrs. §27-2-204(2)
Libel/Slander2 yrs. §27-2-204(3)
Fraud2 yrs. §27-2-203
Injury to Personal Property2 yrs. §27-2-207(2)
Professional MalpracticeLegal: 3 yrs. from discovery, max. 10 yrs. §27-2-206; Medical: 3 yrs., max. 5 yrs. §27-2-205
Trespass2 yrs. §27-2-207(1)
Collection of Rents3 yrs. obligation or liability other than contract not in writing §27-2-202(3)
ContractsWritten: 8 yrs. §27-2-202(1); Oral: 5 yrs. §27-2-202(2)
Collection of Debt on Account3 yrs. obligation or liability (other than contract/not in writing) §27-2-202(3)
Judgments10 yrs. §27-2-201(2)
Product Liability3 yrs. §27-2-204(1)
False Imprisonment2 yrs. § 27-2-204(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 Montana attorney or doing legal research of your own to verify the state law(s) you’re researching. 

Montana Criminal Statute of Limitations

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

Other felonies are more varied, so see the chart below for a full list of crimes and their statutes of limitation in Montana. All misdemeanors committed in the state must be prosecuted within one year.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitations in Montana:

Code SectionMontana Title 45. Crimes § 45-1-205; § 45-1-206
Felonies– Deliberate, mitigated, or negligent homicide: none
– Sexual assault, rape, indecent exposure, deviate sexual conduct, incest, sexual or ritual abuse against child under 18 at time of offense: within 10 yrs. of victim turning 18
– Theft involving breach of fiduciary obligation: within 1 year of discovery
– Unlawful use of computer: within 1 year of discovery
– Other felonies: 5 yrs.
MisdemeanorsMost: one year; misdemeanor involving fish, wildlife, or outfitter activity laws: 3 yrs.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not RunIf the alleged criminal is in hiding or out of state, or if they already have prosecution pending regarding the same conduct.

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

Montana Recording Laws

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