Here’s Everything You Need to Know about the Statute of Limitations in Michigan

by Kimi

Michigan, also known as The Great Lakes States, is home to some of the largest lakes in the US. Here’s an interesting fact about Michigan: Michigan’s lakes make up for 21% of the world’s freshwater surface.

The birthplace of Madonna and Stevie Wonder, unfortunately, has some very scary numbers when it comes to accidents. Michigan saw 282,640 crashes in 2021 and 293,341 in 2022. Over 1,100 people lost their lives in crashes in 2022. These numbers are a cause for concern.

If you’re lucky enough to escape with injuries, you can seek compensation from the parties responsible for your injuries. There are websites, like, where victims can learn about how to seek compensation and get in touch with lawyers.

When it comes to filing a claim for compensation, one factor plays an important role: the statute of limitations.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is a set of laws that allocates a specific time limit for victims to seek legal recourse. Once this time has passed, the victim loses the right to seek compensation or any type of legal action.

This is unfair, right?

Unlike how it sounds, the statute of limitations is pretty useful. Given below are some of the benefits of the statute of limitations.

  • It prevents cases from getting dragged on for years
  • Eliminates/lowers the chances of evidence being lost or forgotten
  • Allows the defendants to go on with their lives, without the fear of a court case following them

Statute of Limitations in Michigan

The following sections list the statute of limitations for civil and criminal cases in Michigan. The exceptions to the statute of limitations are mentioned as well.

Statute of Limitations in Civil Cases

In Michigan, the statute of limitations goes from 3 to 10 years for civil cases. You can find the case-wise statute of limitations below.

  • Injury to person: 3 years
  • Libel/slander: 1 year
  • Fraud: 6 years
  • Injury to personal property: 3 years
  • Professional malpractice: 2 years
  • Trespassing: 6 years
  • Collection of rents: 6 years
  • Contracts
    • Written contracts: 6 years
    • Oral contracts: 6 years
  • Judgments:
    • For decree rendered in a court of record: 10 years
    • For decree rendered in a court not of record: 6 years

Statute of Limitations in Criminal Cases

Criminal laws are completely different from civil cases. This is true when it comes to the statute of limitations as well. Considering how serious criminal cases are, the statute of limitations law does not apply to some crimes. The section below discusses the statute of limitations in Michigan for criminal cases.

  • Misdemeanors: 6 years
  • Human trafficking: 25 years
  • Female genital mutilation: 10 years or when the victim reaches 21 years of age
  • Criminal sexual conduct
    • Second degree: 10 years or when the victim reaches 21 years of ageThird degree: 10 years or when the victim reaches 21 years of age
    • Fourth degree: 10 years or when the victim reaches 21 years of age
  • Assault with intent of criminal sexual conduct: 10 years or when the victim reaches 21 years of age
  • Female genital mutilation or moving people with the intent of committing one: 10 years or when the victim reaches 21 years of age
  • Kidnapping: 10 years
  • Child sexual abuse activity or possession of material depicting such activity: 10 years or when the victim reaches 21 years of age
  • Extortion: 10 years
  • Assault with intent of murder: 10 years
  • Manslaughter: 10 years
  • First-degree home invasion: 10 years
  • Property and mortgage fraud: 10 years
  • Identity theft or attempt at identity theft: 6 years
  • Other felonies: 6 years

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

Like all states, Michigan has certain exceptions to the statute of limitations. These exceptions are planned to safeguard the rights of the victims and ensure fairness in the proceedings.

The statute of limitations does not apply to the following crimes in Michigan:

  • Murder
  • Conspiracy to commit murder
  • Solicitation to commit murder
  • First-degree criminal sexual conduct

For the following crimes, the statute of limitations can be extended to 10 years if the crime is reported within 1 year and the at-fault party is unknown.

  • Kidnapping
  • Extortion
  • Assault with the intent to commit murder
  • Manslaughter
  • First-degree home invasion

If the identity of the at-fault party is found, the victim can book charges 10 years after identification.

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