Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Statute of Repose Definition:

The deadline set by statute on the assertion of a right by litigation.

Related Terms: Statute of Limitations, Limitations or Statute of Limitations

In P. Stolz v Daum, Justice Cudahy of the United States Court of Appeals wrote:

"In general, a statute of repose acts to define temporally the right to initiate suit against a defendant after a legislatively determined time period. Unlike a statute of limitations, a statute of repose is not a limitation of a plaintiff's remedy, but rather defines the right involved in terms of the time allowed to bring suit.

"Statutes of limitations bear on the availability of remedies and, as such, are subject to equitable defenses, the various forms of tolling, and the potential application of the discovery rule. In contrast, statutes of repose affect the availability of the underlying right: That right is no longer available on the expiration of the specified period of time. In theory, at least, the legislative bar to subsequent action is absolute, subject to legislatively created exceptions set forth in the statute of repose."


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