Statutes of limitations are a fundamental part of the U.S. law. Law prescribes the time limit within which the aggrieved party must bring all actions before the court. Actions brought by the aggrieved party after this duration of time will generally not be entertained. The statute of limitation is an exception to this general rule.
The statute of limitations is a defense that is ordinarily asserted by the defendant to defeat an action brought against him after the appropriate time has elapsed. The statute of limitation specifies the period of time within which legal action must be brought for alleged damage or injury. The lengths of the periods vary from state to state and depend upon the type of legal action.
A statute of limitations normally bars claims that are filed after its expiration. For each action-whether civil or criminal, law prescribes specific periods within which actions must be initiated. With respect to the aspect of limitation regarding ejectment, the statutes governing actions to recover real property apply. An action for damages caused by an encroachment may be held to come within the statute of limitations applicable to trespass upon real property.[i] However, under other authority, the statute of limitations on actions to remove encroachments on property is the period for acquiring title by prescription or adverse possession[ii] and not the period for damages for trespass.
[i] Cox v. Berry, 233 Ark. 910, 349 S.W.2d 661 (1961); Bertram v. Orlando, 102 Cal. App. 2d 506, 227 P.2d 894, 24 A.L.R.2d 899 (1st Dist. 1951); Barberi v. Bochinsky, 43 N.J. Super. 186, 128 A.2d 1 (App. Div. 1956).
[ii] Russell v. Williams, 1998 OK CIV APP 135, 964 P.2d 231 (Div. 3 1998)