Utah Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations UT- Summary Statute of Limitations Laws as they apply to the state of Utah

Utah’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 Utah. 

Utah Civil Statute of Limitations

Utah’s civil statute of limitations can range from 1 year to 8 years, depending on the nature of the offense. The date of discovery of an incident or when the aggrieved individual should have known that he or she suffered harm is usually when time starts counting down. Also, under what is known as tolling, the clock may stop when the aggrieved individual is under 18 years or has a mental disability. If the aggrieved individual suffered a mental illness before the expiration of the time limit, it would be unreasonable to expect the individual to seek justice.

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 Utah:

Code SectionsUtah Code Title 78B: Judicial Code, Chapter 2.
Wrongful DeathWrongful death of a family member: 2 yrs.; Wrongful death against a city, town, or county government: 1 yr.
Injury to Person4 yrs.
Injury to Personal Property3 yrs.
Injury to Real Property or Trespass3 yrs.
Libel or slander1 yr.
Fraud3 yrs.
Medical Malpractice2 yrs. after the discovery of the malpractice or after a reasonable period that the aggrieved individual should have discovered the injury caused by the health care provider. The maximum limit is 4 yrs. after the occurrence of the malpractice.
ContractsOral or verbal: 4 yrs.
Written: 6 yrs.
Collection of RentCommercial leases: 4 yrs.; Through the use of the original lease contract, the parties may agree to reduce the time limit to not less than 1 yr.
Collection of Debt for a Credit Card or Account4 yrs.
Judgments8 yrs.

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

Utah Criminal Statute of Limitations

Utah’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 but not limited to murder, capital felony, manslaughter or certain kidnappings. Other felonies carry statutes that can reach a maximum of ten years, depending on the nature of the offense. Misdemeanors committed in this state must be prosecuted within 2 years from the date the crime was committed. These limitations are established to ensure criminal charges are handled efficiently and in a timely manner. The limits also help preserve the integrity of evidence such as testimonies from witnesses and DNA that may become unreliable with time.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitation in Utah:

Code SectionsUtah Code 76-1-301.
Felonies                Capital felony: none.; Aggravated murder: none.; Murder: none.; Manslaughter: none.; Child abuse homicide: none.; Aggravated kidnapping: none.; Child kidnapping: none.
Rape: none.; Rape of a child: none.; Object rape: none.; Object rape of a child: none.; Forcible sodomy: none.; Sodomy on a child: none.; Sexual abuse of a child: none.; Aggravated sexual abuse of a child: none.; Aggravated sexual assault: none.
Any predicate offense to murder or aggravating offense to an aggravated murder: none.
Aggravated human trafficking or aggravated human smuggling: none. §76-5-310.
Aggravated exploitation of prostitution involving a child: none. §76-10-1306.
Human trafficking of a child: none. §76-5-308.5.
Unlawful sexual activity with a minor: 10 years starting from when the victim turns 18 years old.
Any felony or negligent homicide with DNA that would identify defendant: 4 yrs, but if the case involves forcible sexual abuse or incest, then 8 yrs time limit after offense is committed or 4 years if reported to law enforcement agency.
Misuse of public money, falsification or alteration of government records, and bribery: 2 yrs starting from when the prosecutor is made aware of offense.
Fraud or breach of fiduciary obligation or misconduct of a public officer or employee: 1 yr after offense has been filed with a law enforcement agency and cannot be extended more than 3 years.
MisdemeanorsAny misdemeanor apart from negligent homicide: 2 yrs.
Any infractions: 1 yr.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not RunWhen the defendant is absent from the state after the commission of an offense.
OtherProsecution of violent felonies have no time limit if the identity of the perpetrator is unknown but DNA evidence is collected that would identify the person at a later date. §76-3-203.5(1)(c)(i)(A) through (BB).

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

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