The first thing you need to know about the Statute of Repose is that it is not a Statute of Limitations. The differences between the two, however, is the best way to learn about the Statute of Repose.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
A Statute of Limitations is a rule of procedure and it generally starts to run when a cause of action accrues. There are of course exceptions – see my blog on the Discovery Rule. By way of example, if you are seeking damages for a personal injury, the Statute of Limitations is a law that determines how long you have to file your Complaint with the Court. The Statute of Limitations in this instances begins to run from the time of the accident, and you have two years from that date to file your Complaint. Once this period of time has elapsed, you may not be able to file your claim as it will be subject to a Motion to Dismiss based on the Statute of Limitations.
What is a Statute of Repose?
If the starting point of a Statute of Limitations is, for example, the date that the personal injury occurred, the point of origin for a Statute of Repose is the completion of an act. For example, in construction defect cases, where contractors remain on the job after it is completion, courts have held that the Statute of Repose bars recovery 10 years from substantial completion of their own work. The Statute of Repose is found at N.J.S.A. § 2A:14-1.1 and it provides in relevant part that:
No action, whether in contract, in tort, or otherwise, to recover damages for any deficiency in the design, planning, surveying, supervision or construction of an improvement to real property, or for any injury to property, real or personal, or for an injury to the person, or for bodily injury or wrongful death, arising out of the defective and unsafe condition of an improvement to real property, nor any action for contribution or indemnity for damages sustained on account of such injury, shall be brought against any person performing or furnishing the design, planning, surveying, supervision of construction or construction of such improvement to real property, more than 10 years after the performance or furnishing of such services and construction.
How does the Statute of Repose differ from the Statute of Limitations?
- A Statute of Limitations revolves around the plaintiff’s suit. The Statute of Repose establishes a timeline within which a suit can take place after the occurrence of an event, i.e. the completion of construction.
- Deadlines imposed by Statutes of Repose are more strictly enforced.
- A Statute of Limitations can be paused or delayed in limited circumstances.
If you have questions regarding the Statute of Repose in New Jersey, contact the Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC for a free consultation. The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.
Please be advised that this blog is for informational purposes only, is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC
is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.
Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment