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Q: statute of limitations in pennsylvania ( Answered,   7 Comments )
Question  
Subject: statute of limitations in pennsylvania
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: gapgapgap-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 10 May 2002 11:52 PDT
Expires: 17 May 2002 11:52 PDT
Question ID: 15032
in the state of pennsylvania how long do you have to file a civil suit
after an act was committed
Answer  
Subject: Re: statute of limitations in pennsylvania
Answered By: answerguru-ga on 10 May 2002 12:17 PDT
 
Hi there,

Our search returned the following results:

Firstly, here is a basic definition of the term "statute of
limitations":
"A statute of limitations is a legislative provision setting a
reasonable time frame in which a legal right may be exercised.18  If
the injured party does not assert his or her right within the set time
frame, the party cannot get a legal remedy."
http://vls.law.vill.edu/publications/womenslawforum/Comments/Spring%202001/dalrymplevbrown.htm#1.%20
Statute%20of%20Limitations

In the state of Pennsylvania, there is a "discovery rule":
" Despite the importance of the statute of limitations, the Supreme
Court of Pennsylvania recognizes that the statute must be interpreted
in accordance with reason and common sense.29  Accordingly, the court
allows tolling of the statute of limitations in situations in which
the legislature’s intent is better served by hearing suit than by
barring it.3

To avoid unreasonable results, Pennsylvania courts have used the
discovery rule to help plaintiffs circumvent the statute of
limitations.31  The discovery rule is an equitable rule, designed to
ensure that plaintiffs whose injuries are unascertainable for a time
have the same rights of those who can perceive their injury
immediately. The discovery rule tolls the statute of limitations until
the time when “the plaintiff knows or reasonably should know: (1) that
he has been injured, and (2) that his injury has been caused by
another party’s conduct."
http://vls.law.vill.edu/publications/womenslawforum/Comments/Spring%202001/dalrymplevbrown.htm#2.%20%20The%20Discovery%20Rule

In the following case, the statute of limitations stated that the
plaintiff has one year to file a civil suit. It also states that for
each day the plaintiff is out of the state, the limitation is tolled
(extended) by one day. There are several other conditions that may
extend the one year period:
http://www.blumberglaw.com/blown.shtml

It seems that for different types of civil suits there are different
time periods assigned under the statute of limitations. If you could
clarify by stating what type of act was committed I could get a more
narrowed answer for you. The above are just examples of the type of
information available.

Hope this help!

answerguru-ga

Request for Answer Clarification by gapgapgap-ga on 10 May 2002 13:42 PDT
in my question I am the aggrieved party. I bought a faulty house from
somone 7 years ago and I just found out. What PA statute applies ?

Clarification of Answer by answerguru-ga on 10 May 2002 16:11 PDT
Hi there,

My peers have managed to hit the pin on the head before I got to it :)

<stated by tunya-ga>
In civil action in Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is mostly
two-year, not one-year. According to 42 Pa. C.S.A.  5524. Two year
limitation applies in these types of case.
 
"The following actions and proceedings must be commenced within two
years:
 
(1) An action for assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest,
malicious prosecution or malicious abuse of process.
 
(2) An action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the
death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or
unlawful violence or negligence of another.
 
(3) An action for taking, detaining or injuring personal property,
including actions for specific recovery thereof.
 
(4) An action for waste or trespass of real property. 
 
(5) An action upon a statute for a civil penalty or forfeiture. 
 
(6) An action against any officer of any government unit for the
nonpayment of money or the nondelivery of property collected upon on
execution or otherwise in his possession.
 
(7) Any other action or proceeding to recover damages for injury to
person or property which is founded on negligent, intentional, or
otherwise tortious conduct or any other action or proceeding sounding
in trespass, including deceit or fraud, except an action or proceeding
subject to another limitation specified in this subchapter".
 
Please note that "discovery", "tolling" and other issues are technical
requiring careful review. 
</stated by tunya-ga>

You mentioned that you just found out about this, was this infomation
made available to you when you purchased the house? You should consult
an attorney in your state as a statute of limitations may not even
apply here (if you were never told of the problems in the house).

answerguru-ga
Comments  
Subject: Re: statute of limitations in pennsylvania
From: tunya-ga on 10 May 2002 12:31 PDT
 
In civil action in Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is mostly
two-year, not one-year. According to 42 Pa. C.S.A.  5524. Two year
limitation applies in these types of case.

"The following actions and proceedings must be commenced within two
years:

(1) An action for assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest,
malicious prosecution or malicious abuse of process.

(2) An action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the
death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or
unlawful violence or negligence of another.

(3) An action for taking, detaining or injuring personal property,
including actions for specific recovery thereof.

(4) An action for waste or trespass of real property.

(5) An action upon a statute for a civil penalty or forfeiture.

(6) An action against any officer of any government unit for the
nonpayment of money or the nondelivery of property collected upon on
execution or otherwise in his possession.

(7) Any other action or proceeding to recover damages for injury to
person or property which is founded on negligent, intentional, or
otherwise tortious conduct or any other action or proceeding sounding
in trespass, including deceit or fraud, except an action or proceeding
subject to another limitation specified in this subchapter".

Please note that "discovery", "tolling" and other issues are technical
requiring careful review.
Subject: Re: statute of limitations in pennsylvania
From: tracker-ga on 10 May 2002 13:03 PDT
 
Dear gapgapgap,

You cannot assume that you would be entitled to any "bending" of the
statutory time period - each claim is different and requires technical
review by an attorney.  If you have any type of grievance or potential
claim, the first thing you need to do is consult with an attorney to
discuss your options, if any, and that attorney will advise you
concerning the Statute of Limitations which applies in your particular
case.  Please note that in some types of claims there also may be
other, more immediate time deadlines which must be met in order to
maintain a claim, which are not well known by the public; hence,
consultation with an attorney is a must!!

Also know that you can obtain a consultation from most attorneys free
of charge so even if you are not sure whether or not you will pursue a
claim at this time, you should at least obtain the consultation so
that you know exactly what deadlines you are dealing with and what
your options are.

I recommend that you seek out a professional as soon as possible.  If
you need assistance locating an attorney, feel free to let us know and
we'll track down that information for you.  Good luck!!

-Tracker-
Subject: Re: statute of limitations in pennsylvania
From: tracker-ga on 10 May 2002 13:12 PDT
 
PS:  The "discovery rule" insofar as it applies to the altering the
Statute of Limitations applies to malpractice cases and should be
determined by an attorney.  It is not recommended that anyone attempt
to calculate this on their own without the assistance of a lawyer, as
there are many factors to consider.

-Tracker-
Subject: Re: statute of limitations in pennsylvania
From: weisstho-ga on 10 May 2002 14:57 PDT
 
I completely concur with the above statements. Though I am an
attorney, I am not licensed in Pennsylvania and hence would not offer
an opinion to your question. Definitely, consult an attorney - you
should find someone that will take your call and give you a quick
opinion as to whether you have a cause of action.

Given that it is house problem, there might well be a specific statute
providing a remedy for problems with a home sale. Further, there may
have been fraud or misrepresentation that would move the potential
action outside of the home sale statute into an entirely different
arena.

Beyond the recourse to the court, you may have some more effective
recourse through the state administrative agencies, specifically the
licensing agencies if the offerder holds a real estate, broker,
contractor, home-repair or similar license. The rules with
disciplinary proceedings and potential remedies may be more favorable
to your position given the seven years.  You may want to contact the
Pennsylvania Attorney General Office: 
http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/contact/index.cfm for assistance. I
would suggest that you lay out the facts chronologically, and in
outline format. Ask for advice.

Good luck!

Tom

Good luck,
Tom
Subject: Re: statute of limitations in pennsylvania
From: howrman-ga on 17 Jun 2002 21:04 PDT
 
The answer to this question cites
http://www.blumberglaw.com/blown.shtml for the proposition that the
Pennsylvania statute of limitations is extended for each day the
defendant is out of state.  Please note that the article at this link
refers to California law and that the Pennsylvania limitations is not
generally as flexible.
Subject: Re: statute of limitations in pennsylvania
From: howrman-ga on 17 Jun 2002 21:04 PDT
 
The answer to this question cites
http://www.blumberglaw.com/blown.shtml for the proposition that the
Pennsylvania statute of limitations is extended for each day the
defendant is out of state.  Please note that the article at this link
refers to California law and that the Pennsylvania limitations is not
generally as flexible.
Subject: Re: statute of limitations in pennsylvania
From: howrman-ga on 17 Jun 2002 21:05 PDT
 
The answer to this question cites
http://www.blumberglaw.com/blown.shtml for the proposition that the
Pennsylvania statute of limitations is extended for each day the
defendant is out of state.  Please note that the article at this link
refers to California law and that the Pennsylvania limitations is not
generally as flexible.

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