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South Carolina Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations SC- Summary SC statute of limitations

South Carolina’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 South Carolina. 

South Carolina Civil Statute of Limitations

South Carolina’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 – twenty 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 South Carolina:

Injury to Person3 yrs.
Injury to Personal Property3 yrs.
Libel, Slander, or False Imprisonment2 yrs.
Fraud3 yrs.
Professional MalpracticeMedical: 3 yrs. (in most cases) since the date of the action, or the date it should have been reasonably discovered, with a maximum time limit of 6 yrs. If a foreign object was left inside the body: 2 yrs. 

Architects, Contractors, and Professional Engineers: 8 yrs.
Trespass3 yrs.
ContractsWritten: 20 yrs. (if under seal)
Written (unsealed) or Oral: 3 yrs.
Judgments10 yrs.
Sexual Abuse or Incest Civil Remedies6 yrs. after the victim turns 21, or within 3 yrs. of them discovering the injury, whichever is later. 
Wrongful Death3 yrs. in most cases, although the discovery rule can sometimes apply. 
Acts During Which Statute Does Not RunInjury to a child: statute will be tolled for up to 7 yrs. total; or for 1 yr. after they turn 18.

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

South Carolina Criminal Statute of Limitations

South Carolina’s criminal code is highly unique in that it does not include statute of limitation laws for any criminal offenses, regardless of whether the crime is considered a felony or misdemeanor. This means that all crimes can be prosecuted at any time in the state of South Carolina, no matter how many years have passed since the offense occurred.

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

More South Carolina Laws