Vermont Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations VT- Summary Statute of Limitations Laws as they apply to the state of Vermont

Vermont’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 Vermont. 

Vermont Civil Statute of Limitations

Vermont’s civil statute of limitations can range from 1 year to 8 years, depending on the nature of the case. Most civil actions have a time limit of 6 years while the limit for personal injury, libel/slander, and trespass is 3 years. The date of discovery of an incident or the date an offense is committed 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 Vermont:

Section CodeTitle 12: Court Procedure Chapter 23: Limitation Of Time For Commencement Of Actions
Injury to person3 yrs. §512(1)(4);  injury caused by skiing: 1 yr. 12 §513
Libel/slander3 yrs. §512(3)
Fraud6 yrs. §511
Injury to personal property3 yrs. §512(5)
Professional MalpracticeMedical: 3 yrs. from incident or 2 yrs after reasonable discovery (max. 7 yrs.) §521
Trespass3 yrs. §512(5)
Collection of RentsNot specified.
ContractsWritten: 8 yrs.; Under seal: 6 yrs.; others: 4 yrs. §507; 9A §2-725; §511; Oral: 6 yrs. §511
Collection of Debt on Account6 yrs. §511
JudgmentsCivil action (excluding one brought upon the judgment or decree of a court of record): 6 yrs. after the cause of action accrues.; Actions on judgments and actions for the renewal or revival of judgments: 8 yrs. after the rendition of the judgment. §506; §511
Product liability3 yrs. §512(4)
False imprisonment3 yrs. §512(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 Vermont attorney or doing legal research of your own to verify the state law(s) you’re researching.

Vermont Criminal Statute of Limitations

Vermont’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, arson causing death, kidnapping, sexual assault and manslaughter. Other felonies carry statutes that can range from three to forty years, depending on the nature of the offense. Misdemeanors committed in this state have a 3 year limit. Also, most sexual offenses against children have no limit or carry a 40 year limit. This is because children are most vulnerable to abuse and it can take longer for them to recall and understand what happened to them. White collar crimes (crimes committed for financial gain) and several other crimes have a limit of 6 years. Examples include robbery, fraud, forgery and bribery. 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 that may become unreliable with time.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitation in Vermont:

Section Code13 V.S.A. § 4501
FeloniesMurder, arson causing death, kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, human trafficking, aggravated human trafficking, manslaughter: none.
Maiming, sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult: 40 yrs.
Arson, first degree aggravated domestic assault: 11 yrs.
Lewd and lascivious conduct, sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult, grand larceny, robbery, burglary, embezzlement, forgery, bribery, false claims, fraud, and felony tax offenses: 6 yrs.
All other felonies: 3 yrs.
Misdemeanors3 yrs
Crimes in Which a Child Is a VictimAggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual exploitation of a minor: none.
Sexual assault against a minor, lewd and lascivious conduct against a minor, lewd or lascivious conduct with a child, sexual exploitation of a minor: 40 yrs.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not RunNot specified

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

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