The Catholic University of America


Statute of Limitations

D.C. Code Ann. §§ 28:2-725;12-301 through 12-311

Contracts for Sale Governed by Uniform Commercial Code: According to § 28:2-725, the statute of limitations for breach of a contract for sale is four years after the action has "accrued." This limitation cannot be extended, even by agreement between parties, but it can be limited to as little as one year. An action "accrues" when the breach occurs, or, in the case of a breach of warranty, when delivery is made (unless otherwise explicitly specified). Special rules apply to actions that are terminated to leave available a remedy available in a different action for the same breach. See § 28:2-725 (3).

Other: According to D.C. Code Ann. § 12-301, the following statutes of limitations apply to all actions other than those brought by the D.C. government:

"(1) for the recovery of lands, tenements, or hereditaments -- 15 years;

(2) for the recovery of personal property or damages for its unlawful detention -- 3 years;

(3) for the recovery of damages for an injury to real or personal property -- 3 years;

(4) for libel, slander, assault, battery, mayhem, wounding, malicious prosecution, false arrest or false imprisonment -- 1 year;

(5) for a statutory penalty or forfeiture -- 1 year;

(6) on an executor's or administrator's bond -- 5 years; on any other bond or single bill, covenant, or other instrument under seal -- 12 years;

(7) on a simple contract, express or implied -- 3 years;

(8) for which a limitation is not otherwise specially prescribed -- 3 years;

(9) for a violation of § 7-1201.01(11)-1 year 

(10) for the recovery of damages for an injury to real property from toxic substances including products containing asbestos -- 5 years from the date the injury is discovered or with reasonable diligence should have been discovered."

(11) for the recovery of damages arising out of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor— 7 years from the date that the victim attains the age of 18, or 3 years from when the victim knew, or reasonably should have known, of any act constituting abuse, whichever is later. 



links updated AAS, 8/25/17