Limitation Period to Sue Someone
- For any breach of contract, the plaintiff must bring an action against the Defendant in Court within the period of six years from the date of the cause of action (Section 6(1) of the Limitation Act 1953 (“the Act”)).
- The time begins to run from the earliest time at which the Plaintiff could have brought the action (Reeves v. Butcher (1891] 2 QB 509) i.e. the time which the Defendant failed to perform his/her obligations under the contract.
- However, Section 26(2) of the Act recognizes that the right of action in cases where the debtor acknowledges the claim or make any payment in respect thereof shall be deemed to have accrued on and not before the date of the acknowledgment.
- The acknowledgment in question must be in writing and duly signed by the person making it (Section 27 of the Act).
Limitation Act 1953
6.Limitation of actions of contract and tort and certain other actions
(1) Save as hereinafter provided the following actions shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued, that is to say—
(a) actions founded on a contract or on tort;
(b) actions to enforce a recognisance;
(c) actions to enforce an award;
(d) actions to recover any sum recoverable by virtue of any written law other than a penalty or forfeiture or of a sum by way of penalty or forfeiture.
(2) An action for an account shall not be brought in respect of any matter which arose more than six years before the commencement of the action.
(3) An action upon any judgment shall not be brought after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the judgment became enforceable and no arrears of interest in respect of any judgment debt shall be recovered after the expiration of six years from the date on which the interest became due.
(4) An action to recover any penalty or forfeiture or sum by way of penalty or forfeiture recoverable by virtue of any written law shall not be brought after the expiration of one year from the date on which the cause of action accrued:
Provided that for the purpose of this subsection the expression “penalty” shall not include a fine to which a person is liable on conviction for a criminal offence.
(5) Nothing in this section shall apply to—
(a) any cause of action within the Admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court which is enforceable in rem other than an action to recover the wages of seamen, or
(b) any action to recover money secured by any mortgage of or charge on land or personal property.
(6) Subject to the provisions of section 22 and 32 of this Act the provisions of this section shall apply (if necessary by analogy) to all claims for specific performance of a contract or for an injunction or for other equitable relief whether the same be founded upon any contract or tort or upon any trust or other ground in equity.
26.Fresh accrual of action on acknowledgment or part payment
(1) Where there has accrued any right of action to recover land or to enforce a mortgage or charge in respect of land or personal property, and—
(a) the person in possession of the land or personal property acknowledges the title of the person to whom the right of action has accrued; or
(b) in the case of any such action by a mortgagee or chargee the person in possession as aforesaid or the person liable for the debt secured by the mortgage or charge makes any payment in respect thereof, whether principal or interest,
the right shall be deemed to have accrued on and not before the date of the acknowledgment or last payment.
(2) Where any right of action has accrued to recover any debt or other liquidated pecuniary claim, or any claim to the personal estate of a deceased person or to any share or interest therein, and the person liable or accountable therefor acknowledges the claim or makes any payment in respect thereof, the right shall be deemed to have accrued on and not before the date of the acknowledgment or the last payment:
Provided that a payment of a part of the rent or interest due at any time shall not extend the period for claiming the remainder of the rent or interest then due, but any payment of interest shall have effect, for the purposes of this subsection only, as if it were a payment in respect of the principal debt.
27Formal provisions as to acknowledgments and part payments
(1) Every such acknowledgment as is referred to in section 26 or in the proviso to section 16 of this Act shall be in writing and signed by the person making the acknowledgment.
(2) Any such acknowledgment or payment as is referred to in section 26 or the proviso to section 16 of this Act may be made by the agent of the person by whom it is required to be made under that section, and shall be made to the person, or to an agent of the person, whose title or claim is being acknowledged or, as the case may be, in respect of whose claim the payment is being made.
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