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A statute of limitations is just that: It is a type of statute that is passed by legislatures at both the state and federal levels that sets forth the specific time period within which causes of action must be filed or rights enforced. Statutes of limitation therefore represent legislative determinations as to the maximum period of time within which persons may file claims to enforce their rights. The fundamental premise behind statutes of limitation is to advance justice or fairness by barring old claims.

As the Supreme Court of the United States famously stated, statutes of limitation are

designed to promote justice by preventing surprises through the revival of claims that have been allowed to slumber until evidence has been lost, memories have faded, and witnesses have ...

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