How Much Time Do I Have to Bring a Civil Lawsuit?
There are specific time limits for different kinds of civil cases. The clock generally begins running when you know or should have known that the Defendant's actions harmed you. The exception is in claims based on breach of contract, where the time limit begins when the contract was breached, in most cases even if you did not know about it right away.
For most civil actions, the statute of limitations is three years. An important exception is cases involving discrimination, retaliation for complaining about discrimination, and sexual harassment. These all must first be brought either in the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ("MCAD") or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") within 300 days of the events at issue. 300 days is about 10 months, and is a relatively short period of time.
You may have multiple types of claims, each with different limitations periods. You should make sure you consult with an attorney long enough before the earliest date will run out to make sure you can fully address all of your legal rights.
Learn more here about statutes of limitation in Massachusetts.
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