Statutes of Limitations

AuthorJennifer Duncan-Brice
Def‌inition: The statute of limitations is the time period within which an action must be started, or it is barred forever.
Scope of Chapter: How to calculate the limitations period; how a claim accrues; satisfying the statute by commencing
suit; limitations periods for particular actions; modifying a limitations period by agreement; tolls. Times within which
specif‌ic proceedings must be brought before administrative bodies are beyond the scope of this chapter.
Strategies and Tactics: Conservatively estimate the last day for bringing a claim. Calendar that date and try to start
suit well in advance of it. If a claim appears time-barred, consider pleading it as a different cause of action to get a
longer limitations period or a later accrual date. Consider also whether the claim can be saved by estoppel, a tolling
rule, or the relation back doctrine.
Statutes and Rules: 735 ILCS 5/2-402; 735 ILCS 5/2-615; 735 ILCS 5/2-616(b); 735 ILCS 5/2-619(5);
735 ILCS 5/2-1005; 735 ILCS 5/2-1601; 735 ILCS 5/13-101 ff.; 735 ILCS 5/13-201 ff.; 735 ILCS 5/13-214.2(b);
810 ILCS 5/2-725.
Related Topics: Service of Process, Ch 9; Pleadings, Ch 13; Default Judgment, Dismissal for Want of Prosecution, Ch
31; Summary Judgment, Ch 30.
A. General Points
§3:01 Def‌inition
§3:02 Purposes
§3:03 Attorney’s Responsibility
§3:04 Categories of Statutes of Limitation
§3:05 No Rationale for Particular Periods
§3:06 Legislature May Not Revive Barred Action
§3:07 Raising Statute of Limitations
§3:08 Failure to Raise Defense—Not Jurisdictional
§3:09 When Time Limit Is Jurisdictional
§3:10 Actions Without Limitations
§3:11 Handling Conf‌licting Statutes
§3:12 Effect of Statutory Amendments
§3:13 When Statute Not Readily Apparent
§3:14 Conf‌licts of Law
§3:15 No Statute of Limitations for Defenses
Illinois Pretrial Practice 3-2
B. Sources of Law
§3:20 Code of Civil Procedure
§3:21 Other Sources
§3:22 Choice of Law: Illinois Limitations Laws Apply in Illinois Courts
§3:23 Exception: Foreign Limitations Laws Under Borrowing Statute
§3:24 Exception: Cause of Action Not Recognized at Common Law
C. Conditions Precedent Distinguished
§3:30 What Is a Condition Precedent?
§3:31 No Waiver or Tolling
D. Laches Distinguished
§3:40 Laches Def‌ined
§3:41 Can Be Raised in Claim at Law
§3:42 Requirements
§3:43 Repose vs. Limitation
A. General Points
§3:50 Is Claim Timely?
B. When Limitation Period Begins: Accrual
1. General Points
§3:60 Statute Runs From Accrual of Cause
§3:61 Tort Claim Accrues When Plaintiff Suffers Injury
§3:62 Contract Claim Accrues on Breach
§3:63 Contract for Installment Payments
§3:64 When Plaintiff “Commences” Suit
§3:65 Obtaining Later Accrual Date or Longer Limitations Period
§3:66 Effect of More Than One Remedy
§3:67 Installment Payments
§3:68 Accrual as to Insurance Agents
2. Continuing Torts
§3:80 Def‌inition
§3:81 Torts That Are Continuing
3. Acknowledgment or Promise to Pay
§3:90 Effect of Part Payment or New Promise
§3:91 Requirements
§3:92 Account Stated
C. When Period Expires: Filing Suit
1. General Points
§3:100 Filing Suit Stops Statute
§3:101 When Complaint Is Deemed Filed
§3:102 Calculating Expired Time
§3:103 Last Day on Weekend or Holiday
§3:104 Effect of Subsequent Dismissal
2. Counterclaims, Amended Pleadings, New Defendants
§3:110 Counterclaim or Set-Off
§3:111 Amended Pleading and Relation-Back Doctrine
§3:112 New Defendant
§3:113 Mistaken Identity
§3:114 Section 13-207 Relationship With Other Statutes
D. Discovery Rule: Delays Accrual
§3:120 Def‌inition and Purpose
§3:121 Tor ts to Which Discovery Rule Applies
§3:122 Burden of Pleading and Proof
§3:123 Knowledge of Extent of Injuries
3-3 Statutes of Limitations
§3:124 Knowledge of Identity of Defendant
§3:125 Discovery Is Question of Fact
§3:126 Contract Claims
§3:127 Relationship to Statutes of Repose
A. Real Actions
1. Overview
§3:140 Def‌inition
§3:141 Limitations Period
§3:142 Computation
§3:143 Accrual of Actions
2. Adverse Possession
§3:150 Requirements
§3:151 Accrual
3. Breach of Condition Subsequent
§3:160 Def‌inition
§3:161 Limitations Period
§3:162 Mortgage or Lease
4. Termination of Estate Upon Limitation
§3:170 Def‌inition
§3:171 Limitations Period
§3:172 Mortgage or Lease
5. Tax Matters or Enforcement of Judgments
§3:180 Limitations Period
§3:181 Payment of Taxes With Color of Title
§3:182 Refunds Under Property Tax Code
6. Mortgages
§3:190 Limitations Period
§3:191 Tolling
7. 40-Year Statute
§3:200 Catch-All Provision
§3:201 Exceptions
§3:202 Wrongful Demolition by a Municipality
B. Personal Actions
1. Overview
§3:210 Def‌inition
2. Defamation
§3:220 Limitations Period
§3:221 Accrual
§3:222 Discovery Rule
§3:223 Action Does Not Survive Death
3. Personal Injury
§3:230 Limitations Period
§3:231 Exceptions
§3:232 Accrual
§3:233 Discovery Rule
§3:234 Continuing Tort
§3:235 Determination if Statutory Penalty
§3:236 Local Governments
4. Childhood Sexual Abuse
§3:240 Limitations Period
§3:241 Statute Tolled Until Victim Reaches 18
§3:242 Non-Abusers

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