Statute of Limitations - California

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Nature of Substantive Claim

Limitation Period

Assault, battery [CCP §335.1]

2 years

Attorney professional negligence, other than actual fraud [CCP §340.6]

1 year from discovery or 4 years from wrongful act or omission, whichever occurs first

Book account, account stated account, or balance due account [CCP §337(2)]

4 years

Contracts, verbal [CCP §339(1)]

2 years from breach

Contracts, written [CCP §337(1)]

4 years from breach

Dishonored draft [Com C §3118(c)]

3 years from dishonor or 10 years after date of draft, whichever occurs first

Domestic violence [CCP §340.15]

3 years from last act or discovery, whichever is later

False imprisonment [CCP §340(c)]

1 year

Fraud or mistake [CCP §338(d)]

3 years from discovery

Health care professional negligence [CCP §340.5]

1 year from discovery or 3 years from injury, whichever occurs first

Liability created by statute [CCP §338(a)]

3 years

Libel, slander [CCP §340(c)]

1 year

Limitation period not otherwise specified [CCP §343]

4 years from accrual of action

Mechanic’s lien on real property [CC §3144(a)]

90 days after lien recorded

Penalty, action under statute imposing [CCP §340(a)]

1 year

Personal injury to or death of individual caused by wrongful act or neglect [CCP §335.1]

2 years

Personal property, injury to [CCP §338(c)]

3 years

Promissory note [Com C §3118(a)–(b)]

6 years from due date or, if payable on demand, 6 years from demand date

Public entity, claim against [CCP §342; GC §§911.2(a), 945.6(a) (file claim with entity within 6 months or one year after accrual)]

6 months from written denial by entity, or 2 years from accrual of action if no written denial

Rescission of oral contract [CCP §339(3)]

2 years

Rescission of written contract [CCP §337(3)]

4 years

Theft or conversion [CCP §338(c)]

3 years

Trees, injuries to [CC §3346(c)]

5 years from trespass

Trespass on or injury to real property [CCP §338(b)]

3 years

Period Suspended or Tolled

The statute of limitation may be suspended, e.g., by minority, insanity, imprisonment, absence from state, or absence in times of war. [See, e.g., CCP §§351, 352, 352.1, 354.] A limitation period also may be tolled by parties’ written agreement [see CCP §360.5], or may be equitably tolled when the defendant’s conduct contributed to the plaintiff’s delay in filing suit. [Bollinger v National Fire Ins. Co. (1944) 25 C2d 399, 411.] Tolling under CCP §351 for absence from the state does not apply to claims arising from motor vehicle accidents involving nonresident motorists. [Litwin v Estate of Formela (2010) 186 CA4th 607, 616–617.]