10 basic prescriptive period lawyers always remember


Bar by statute of limitations is a ground for a motion to dismiss under Rule 16 of the Rules of Court. Hence, if a cause of action has already prescribed, it can no longer be enforced in court and the defendant may move that the case be thrown out. In fact, should the court find that prescription has already set in, it shall dismiss the case motu proprio.

An action prescribes by the lapse of time fixed in the Civil Code (Articles 1139 to 1155). The following are ten (10) basic rules to remember:

[1] Eight years for actions to recover movables;
[2] Thirty years for real actions over immovables;
[3] Ten years for written contracts;
[4] Ten years for obligations created by law;
[5] Ten years for obligations created by judgment;
[6] Six  years for oral contracts;
[7] Six years for quasi-contracts;
[8] One year for forcible entry and unlawful detainer;
[9] One year for defamation; and
[10] Five years for all other actions whose periods are not fixed in the Civil Code or other laws.

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