statutes of limitations are specific landmark dates, or "deadlines",
by which an act or action must be initiated, or it will be forever barred
at law. Other deadlines missed may merely impose fines or penalties for
lateness. Ominous though it may sound, such cutoffs, including response
dates, are essential to an orderly business society and economy, and necessary
to provide finality and closure to certain events and claims. Such limitations
must not be confused with specific, mandatory filing deadlines for income
tax returns, and auto and driver’s license renewals, each of which
may carry only monetary penalties for lateness.
Statutes of limitation, like aircraft landings, are mandatory. Some of
the most common limitations include:
Notice of Construction Claim – Contract Terms
Demand for Arbitration – Contract Terms
Constr.Defects (After Damage Ensues) 4yrs.
Constr.Defects (After Completion) - Claims Against Archts, Engrs., Contractors
Notice of Furnishing, Miller Act Liens 21days
Mechanic’s Liens, Ohio statutes 75 days
Mech. Liens, Residential 60 days
Answer to Complaint: Federal Court 20 days
State Court 28 days
Appeal from Judgment or Order 30 days
Zoning Appeals 30 days
Complaint for Injunctive Relief 7 days
Summary Judgment Motions 30 days
Probate Claims Against Estate 1 year
Malpractice/Professional Negligence 1 year
Wrongful Death Claims 1 year
Motions for Relief from Judgment 1 year
Personal Injury, Property Damage 2 yrs.
Worker’s Compensation Claims 2 yrs.
Occupational Disease Claims 6 mo.
Negligence 4 yrs.
Tort Claims 4 yrs.
Oral Contract Claims 6 yrs.
Written Contract Claims 15 yrs.
Importantly, many limitations, stated in a number of days, include weekend
days and holidays in such calculations, necessitating early action or
filing, to come within certain deadlines imposed. This may be significant,
especially where the controlling date occurs on a holiday, when the Court
or agency is closed and will not receive, file, or consider such matters.
In many other instances, the time limitations, not unlike a timer, begin
to run on the date a judgment or determination is made, filed, or published.
In some limited instances, there may be an express statutory savings clause,
providing that where the filing deadline occurs on a weekend or holiday,
such filing will be permitted on the next regular business day.
There is insufficient space here to point out or explain important considerations,
or even specific qualifications that may apply to each deadline imposed
by law. However, it is essential to obtain competent professional assistance,
legal counsel and advice, early, without delay, and to assert all claims
timely or, in the significant words of statutory construction : "…be
* * *
Author: J. NORMAN STARK is an Attorney-at-Law,
a Registered Architect, (AIA, NCARB) Registered Landscape Architect, Interior
Designer, Planner and Senior Appraiser (ASA), admitted to practice law before
the Bar of Ohio, the US District Courts, Ohio and Illinois (Central Dist.),
the US Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He has had
experience in business, Construction, Real Property, Litigation and Construction-Legal
Project and Crisis Management.