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Oregon Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations OR- Summary

Oregon’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 Oregon. 

Oregon Civil Statute of Limitations

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

Injury to Person2 yrs. §12.110
Libel/Slander2 yrs. §12.110
Fraud2 yrs. from discovery §12.110
Injury to Personal Property6 yrs. §12.080
Professional MalpracticeMedical: 2 yrs. from act or reasonable discovery (max. 5 yrs.) §12.110(4)
Trespass6 yrs. §12.080(3)
Collection of Rents1 yr. §12.125
ContractsWritten: 6 yrs. §12.080; Oral: 6 yrs. §12.080
Collection of Debt on Account6 yrs. §12.080(2)
Judgments10 yrs. §12.070

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

Oregon Criminal Statute of Limitations

Oregon’s criminal statute of limitations sets time limits on the filing of criminal charges in the state, but there is no deadline for crimes considered especially heinous, including murder, aggravated murder, attempted murder, attempted aggravated murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, and any degree of manslaughter. Depending on the offense, other felonies must be prosecuted within a time-frame typically ranging from three – twelve years. Misdemeanors may be charged within a two-year period, and violations carry a six-month limitation.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitations in Oregon:

Code SectionORS Chapter 131.125; 131.145; and 131.155
Felonies– Murder; aggravated murder; attempted murder; attempted aggravated murder; conspiracy to commit aggravated murder; and any degree of manslaughter: none
– 1st degree: rape; sodomy; unlawful sexual penetration; sexual abuse: 12 yrs.*
– Strangulation (under ORS 163.187 (4)); 1st degree criminal mistreatment; 2nd or 3rd degree rape; 2nd or 3rd degree sodomy; 2nd degree unlawful sexual penetration; 2nd degree sexual abuse; using a child in a display of sexual conduct; encouraging 1st degree child sex abuse; incest; compelling prostitution; luring a minor: 6 yrs.**
– Strangulation (under ORS 163.187 (3)); 3rd degree sexual abuse; performing obscenity in front of a minor; displaying obscene materials to minors: 4 yrs.***
– Arson in any degree; 1st degree theft; 1st degree aggravated theft; extortion; robbery in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree; 1st degree forgery; credit card fraud; identity theft: 6 yrs.
– Other felonies: 3 yrs.
*If the victim at the time of the crime was under 18 years of age, prosecution may commence anytime before the victim attains 30 years of age.
**If the victim at the time of the crime was under 18 years of age, prosecution may commence anytime before the victim attains 30 years of age or within 12 years after the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or the Department of Human Services, whichever occurs first.
***If the victim at the time of the crime was under 18 years of age, prosecution may commence anytime before the victim attains 22 years of age, or within four years after the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or the Department of Human Services, whichever occurs first.
Misdemeanors2 yrs.; violations: 6 months
Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run– If the suspect is absent state, not a resident, or in hiding.
– If the victim of a sex crime is a minor, the statute does not run until the victim turns 18.
– Maximum extension of the period of limitations is 3 yrs.

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

Oregon Recording Laws