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What is the statue of limitations for bringing a civil lawsuit against someone for fraud?

North Hollywood, CA |

I just discovered the fraud two months ago.

Attorney Answers 6

  1. Statute of limitations on fraud is 3 years (Civ. Proc. §338(d))

    While I am an attorney, I am not your attorney. You should always speak with your own attorney to gain full and complete legal advice.

  2. In California, the statute of limitations for fraud actions, as set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 338(d), is three years. An action for relief on the ground of fraud must be commenced within three years after the aggrieved party discovered the alleged wrongdoing. (April Enters., Inc. v. KTTV (1983) 147 Cal.App.3d 805, 826.)

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

  3. My colleagues are correct - 3 years.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

  4. 3 years from date of discovery, but discovery is not necessarily actual discovery. It can be discovery of facts that should have led you to learn of it. Do not delay if the actual fraud was some time ago.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

  5. My colleagues are correct. It generally is three years from the date of discovery of the facts constituting the fraud. Many defendants, however, will argue that you had "constructive notice" of the fraud prior to the time and therefore the statute of limitations has already run. So, pleading delayed discovery of fraud in a complaint can be tricky particularly if the act took place several years ago. So, you may wish to consult a lawyer to help you on this.

    I don't intend the foregoing to be legal advice but just a general answer to a question based on Avvo's rules. In particular, you are not my client. I am not your lawyer. For further details on this issue, you should consult an attorney.

  6. As my colleagues have expressed the statute of limitations for fraud is three years. However, the cause of action for fraud is not deemed to have accrued until the fraud is discovered. In other words, the clock does not begin to run until the aggrieved party discovers the fraud, rather then when the acts constituting fraud actual occurred. Discovery in this context is usually described as discovered or should have discovered. If a reasonable person would have discovered the fraud earlier, the clock will begin to run when the person should have discovered the fraud.

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