Statute Of Limitations
statute of limitations1 a : a statute establishing a period of time from the accrual of a cause of action (as upon the occurrence or discovery of an injury) within which a right of action must be exercised compare laches , statute of repose
b : a criminal statute establishing the period of time within which an offense can be punished after its commission
2 : a period of time established by a statute of limitations for commencing an action or prosecution
3 : an affirmative defense that the statute of limitations has expired
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.