Limitation on the right to take action at Court

Author: N. Pirilides & Associates LLC
Date:2012-08-08
On the 01.07.2012, the House of Representatives has passed the Limitation of the Right to Take Action Law of 2012 (hereinafter the Law) which provides the valid period during which the plaintiff has the right to take legal action after the completion of the cause of action.
 
 
According to the said Law, the general rule is that No action shall be brought upon, for, or in respect of, any cause of action not expressly provided for in this Law, or expressly exempted from the operation of this Law, after the expiration of ten  (10) years from the date when such cause of action accrued. However, in certain circumstances the limitation period to take action varies depending on each case cause of action. Subject to the provisions of this Law, no action shall be brought upon, for or in respect of-
 
  1. Any bond in customary form or any mortgage, after the expiration of twelve (12) years from the date on which the cause of action accrued;
  2. any judgment, after the expiration of fifteen (15) years from the date on which judgment became enforceable;
  3. any claim to the estate of a deceased person or to any share or interest therein, whether under a will or on intestacy, after the expiration of eight (8) years from the date when the claim to the estate or the right to receive the share or interest therein accrued;
  4. any book debt due to or from a bank or any other similar institution, or due from exchange, check, promissory note and bill of ordinary type, or due to or from a private institution or financial holding company and derives from hire, purchase or debt receivable, leasing, use of credit cards, overdrafts from bank accounts and generally anything which is presented at time as a bank or another similar institution, excluding loans, after the expiration of six (6) years from the date on which the cause of action accrued;
  5. contracts and/or quasi-contracts regarding any remuneration, fee or charge of any advocate, medical practitioner, dentist, architect, civil engineer, contractor or any other self-employed individual, after the expiration of three (3) years from the date on which the cause of action accrued;
  6. any other contracts, after the expiration of six (6) years from the date on which the cause of action accrued;
  7. any tort in general after the expiration of six (6) years from the date on which the cause of action accrued; however, if the cause of action relates matters of negligence, nuisance or breach of statutory duty no action shall be brought after the expiration of three (3) years from the date on which the cause of action accrued;
  8. any claim for defamation or malicious falsehood after the expiration of one (1) year from the date on which the cause of action accrued;

 

It should also be noted that under the provisions of the said Law, where, in the case of any action for which a period of limitation is prescribed by this Law-

(a) the right of action is concealed by the fraud of the defendant or his agent or of any person through whom he claims or his agent;
(b) the action is for relief from the consequences of a mistake,
 
the period of limitation shall not begin to run until the plaintiff has discovered the fraud or mistake, as the case may be, or could, with reasonable diligence, have discovered it.
 
 
The current Law also provides that the limitation period will not begin to run between the following categories of persons:
spouses during their marriage;
  • parents and their children who are under the age of eighteen (18);
  • trust committees and trust beneficiaries who are under the age of eighteen (18);
  • executors or administrators of the deceased or legatees of the deceased who are under the age of eighteen (18), and
  • commensals and/or cohabiting partners during their cohabitation.

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