Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse in Michigan

The Statute of Limitations is a legal term used in many state statutes that defines the precise amount of time a plaintiff has to file a civil lawsuit.  If a lawsuit is filed after the statute of limitations has expired, the claim could be dismissed by a court because it was simply brought too late.  The Statute of Limitations in sexual assault cases can be complicated and difficult to understand.  As such, if you have questions about whether you can still bring your potential claim, it is important to reach out to an experienced sexual abuse attorney to discuss your unique case and circumstances surrounding the assault(s).

Statute of Limitations – Sexual Assaults Prior to June 2018

If you were over the age of 18 at the time of the abuse, the Statute of Limitations would allow you three (3) years to file your claim.  However, if the abuse occurred while you were still a minor, the law provided some additional time to file your claim after your 18th birthday. 

Statute of Limitations – Current Law

In June 2018, the Michigan Legislature passed Public Acts 180 and 181.  This new law provided that anyone who was a victim of criminal sexual conduct or abuse while still a minor could file a lawsuit by their 28th birthday, or within three (3) years of their abuse being discovered, whichever is later.  In addition, the new laws provided that an adult at the time of the abuse could now file a civil case within 10 years after the assault.  Finally, no matter what the victim’s age, they would have three years after they discovered the assault happened to file a civil suit. 

2023 Proposed Legislation to Expand Michigan Statute of Limitations

New legislation was introduced in Michigan in April 2023 that would expand the ability of sexual abuse survivors to bring lawsuits against their abusers and the institutions that enabled them.  The new legislation would amend MCL 691.1407, MCL 600.5805, MCL 600.5851(b), MCL 600.6431, and MCL 600.6452.  Click here to see the draft bills that were introduced. We explain these new bills in detail here.