Statute of Limitations: NH Can No Longer Chase You Forever

 Statute of Limitations: Until this year the State of New Hampshire had no statute of limitations against bringing a citizen to court to enforce some penalty or collect money from them. In 2009, the New Hampshire Supreme Court in the case of State v. Lake Winnipesaukee Resort, held that the State was immune from general statutes of limitations.


The doctrine of nullum tempus was based on the old royal government theory that time cannot run against the King. This is a ridiculous and repugnant theory that works well for a monarchy, but should have no effect in a democracy.


Luckily, the State Legislature has enacted a limit for the State of New Hampshire that provides that any personal action or civil enforcement brought by the State must occur within three years of the date when the agency or official possessed actual knowledge of the act or violation.


The only out clause is that the State can sue beyond three years if the delay is not unreasonable or prejudicial to the defendant, but that would be a decision made by a judge. There is also an exception for violations or wrongs that are continuing and have not been corrected, like gasoline leaks into the grounds and chemical leaks that are ongoing for years or decades. This new law limiting the state took effect January 1, 2018.

If you have questions regarding statute of limitations involving yourself, please call one of our attorneys at 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online contact form.

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