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What Are the Deadlines for Filing an Indiana Lawsuit?

Have you ever been in a fender bender, only to realize your back still hurts a few months later? Or are you still waiting for child support you failed to receive a year ago? Is it too late to file a lawsuit to recover damages or be awarded money you are owed? Maybe not. The deadlines for filing an Indiana lawsuit vary depending on the type of claim but can range anywhere from two to 20 years. You may still have time.

The Indiana Statutes of Limitations Set the Deadlines for Filing an Indiana Lawsuit

A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time you have to file a lawsuit after an event has occurred. Statutes of limitations are meant to ensure fairness to all parties involved because, as time passes, memories can fade and evidence can deteriorate. In this article, we will discuss some of the various deadlines for filing an Indiana lawsuit as outlined in Indiana Code chapter 34-11-2.   

The Indiana Statute of Limitations on Contract Disputes

In general, there is a six-year statute of limitation after a cause of action accrues for actions on accounts and contracts not in writing and for actions for relief against frauds.

Actions upon written contracts must be filed within ten years with the exception of those for the payment of money, such as the following:

  • All mortgages other than chattel mortgages;
  • Deeds of trust;
  • Judgments of courts of record; and
  • Recovery of the possession of real estate.

The time limits for filing on disputes involving written contracts for the payment of money, such as promissory notes and bills of exchange, is six years.

 The Indiana Statute of Limitations on Family Law

Under Indiana Code § 34-11-2-10, if you are filing a lawsuit in Indiana for the enforcement of child support obligations, the statute of limitations is ten years after the earlier of the child’s 18th birthday or emancipation. However, a child support arrearage that has been reduced to judgment falls under Indiana Code § 34-11-2-12, which bars suit to enforce the judgment after 20 years.

The Indiana Real Estate Statute of Limitations

In the area of real estate, there is a six-year statute of limitation for actions involving the following:

  • Use, rent, and profit of real property;
  • Injuries to property other than personal property; and
  • Damages for improper holding or keeping of personal property or for recovering personal property.

An action to recover real property, such as a house or another non-movable good, which was sold by executors, guardians, administrators, or commissioners of a court upon a judgment, must be filed within five years after the sale is confirmed.

An action to recover real property sold at an execution sale, brought by the execution debtor, the debtor’s heirs, or anyone claiming under a debtor title acquired after the date of the judgment, must be filed within six years after the sale.

The Indiana Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The time limit to file a lawsuit in Indiana for an injury to a person or character, personal property, or a forfeiture of penalty given by statute, is two years after the cause of an action accrues.

An action for injury to a person that results from the sexual abuse of a child must be commenced within seven years after the cause of action occurs, or four years after the person ceases to be a dependent of the person alleged to have performed the sexual abuse, whichever occurs later.

Camden & Meridew Can Help You Navigate the Deadlines

There are several other types of claims that have various statute of limitations. If you need help sorting through the Indiana Code and making sense of the deadlines for filing an Indiana lawsuit, contact the attorneys at Camden & Meridew, P.C. to schedule a free consultation. You can reach us by calling 317-770-000 or completing our online contact form.