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Tennessee Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations TN- Summary Statute of Limitations in Tennessee

Tennessee’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 Tennessee. 

Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations

Tennessee’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 six months – 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 Tennessee:

Injury to Person1 yr. §28-3-104(a)(1)
Libel/SlanderLibel: 1 yr.; Slander: 6 mos. §§28-3-103, 104
FraudNot specified
Injury to Personal Property3 yrs. §28-3-105(1)
Professional MalpracticeLegal: 1 yr. CPA: 1 yr. §28-3-104(2)
Trespass3 yrs. §28-3-105(1)
Collection of Rents6 yrs. §28-3-109(1)
ContractsWritten and oral: 6 yrs. §28-3-109
Collection of Debt on Account6 yrs. unless expressly provided
Judgments10 yrs. §28-3-110(2)

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

Tennessee Criminal Statute of Limitations

Tennessee’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 or any crime punishable by death or life imprisonment. Other felonies carry statutes that can range from two – fifteen years, depending on the nature of the offense and how the crime is classed according to Tennessee’s criminal code. Misdemeanors committed in this state must be prosecuted within one year, except for those related to gaming, which are given a limit of six months.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitation in Tennessee:

Code SectionTennessee Code Title 40. Criminal Procedure § 40-2-101
FeloniesMurder; any crime punishable by death or life imprisonment: none; Class A Felony: 15 yrs.; Class B felony: 8 yrs.; Class C or D felony: 4 yrs.; Class E felony: 2 yrs.
Arson: 8 yrs.; defrauding state, evading or defeating any tax, fraudulent return: 6 yrs.;
Offense committed against a child: 4 yrs. after the offense, or once child reaches adulthood, whichever occurs later.
Other felonies: 3 yrs.
MisdemeanorsOffenses related to gaming: 6 mos.
Others: 1 yr.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not RunIf the accused is absent state or the crime is being concealed.

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

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