Within three years an action –

(1)        Upon a contract, obligation or liability arising out of a contract, express or implied, except those mentioned in the preceding sections or in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-53(1).

(1a)      Upon the official bond of a public officer.

(2)        Upon a liability created by statute, either state or federal, unless some other time is mentioned in the statute creating it.

(3)        For trespass upon real property. When the trespass is a continuing one, the action shall be commenced within three years from the original trespass, and not thereafter.

(4)        For taking, detaining, converting or injuring any goods or chattels, including action for their specific recovery.

(5)        For criminal conversation, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contract and not hereafter enumerated, except as provided by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-17(d) and (e).

(6)        Against the sureties of any executor, administrator, collector or guardian on the official bond of their principal; within three years after the breach thereof complained of.

(7)        Against bail; within three years after judgment against the principal; but bail may discharge himself by a surrender of the principal, at any time before final judgment against the bail.

(8)        For fees due to a clerk, sheriff or other officer, by the judgment of a court; within three years from the entry of the judgment, or the issuing of the last execution thereon.

(9)        For relief on the ground of fraud or mistake; the cause of action shall not be deemed to have accrued until the discovery by the aggrieved party of the facts constituting the fraud or mistake.

(10)      Repealed by Session Laws 1977, c. 886, s. 1.

(11)      For the recovery of any amount under and by virtue of the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and amendments thereto, said act being an act of Congress.

(12)      Upon a claim for loss covered by an insurance policy that is subject to the three-year limitation contained in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 58-44-16.

(13)      Against a public officer, for a trespass, under color of his office.

(14)      An action under Chapter 75B of the N.C. Gen. Stat., the action in regard to a continuing violation accrues at the time of the latest violation.

(15)      For the recovery of taxes paid as provided in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-381 or for the recovery of an unlawful fee, charge, or exaction collected by a county, municipality, or other unit of local government for water or sewer service or water and sewer service.

(16)      Unless otherwise provided by law, for personal injury or physical damage to claimant’s property, the cause of action, except in causes of actions referred to in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-15(c), shall not accrue until bodily harm to the claimant or physical damage to his property becomes apparent or ought reasonably to have become apparent to the claimant, whichever event first occurs. Except as provided in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 130A-26.3 or N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-17(d) and (e), no cause of action shall accrue more than 10 years from the last act or omission of the defendant giving rise to the cause of action.

(17)      Against a public utility, electric or telephone membership corporation, or a municipality for damages or for compensation for right-of-way or use of any lands for a utility service line or lines to serve one or more customers or members unless an inverse condemnation action or proceeding is commenced within three years after the utility service line has been constructed or by October 1, 1984, whichever is later.

(18)      Against any professional land surveyor as defined in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 89C-3(9) or any person acting under the surveyor’s supervision and control for physical damage or economic or monetary loss due to negligence or a deficiency in the performance of surveying or platting. A cause of action for physical damage under this subdivision shall be deemed to accrue at the time of the occurrence of the physical damage giving rise to the cause of action. All actions under this subdivision shall commence within seven years from the specific last act or omission of the professional land surveyor or any person acting under the surveyor’s supervision and control giving rise to the cause of action. For purposes of this subdivision, “surveying and platting” means boundary surveys, topographical surveys, surveys of property lines, and any other measurement or surveying of real property and the consequent graphic representation thereof.

(19)      For assault, battery, or false imprisonment, except as provided by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-17(d) and (e). Notwithstanding this subdivision, a plaintiff may file a civil action within two years of the date of a criminal conviction for a related felony sexual offense against a defendant for claims related to sexual abuse suffered while the plaintiff was under 18 years of age.

(20)      Upon a liability for a civil penalty, civil assessment, or civil fine imposed pursuant to Chapter 20 of the N.C. Gen. Stat.. ?(C.C.P., s. 34; Code, s. 155; 1889, cc. 218, 269; 1895, c. 165; 1899, c. 15, s. 71; 1901, c. 558, s. 23; Rev., s. 395; 1913, c. 147, s. 4; C.S., s. 441; 1945, c. 785; 1971, c. 939, s. 1; 1975, c. 252, ss. 2, 4; 1977, c. 886, s. 1; c. 916, s. 2; c. 946, s. 4; 1979, c. 654, s. 3; 1981, c. 702; c. 777, s. 4; 1991, c. 268, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 742, s. 1(b); 1997-297, s. 2; 2001-175, s. 2; 2004-203, s. 15(b); 2007-491, s. 3; 2009-171, s. 5; 2010-129, s. 6; 2014-17, s. 2; 2014-44, s. 1(c); 2017-138, s. 10(a); 2019-164, s. 2; 2019-245, s. 4.2(a).)

Terms Used In North Carolina General Statutes 1-52

  • Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • property: shall include all property, both real and personal. See North Carolina General Statutes 12-3
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • state: when applied to the different parts of the United States, shall be construed to extend to and include the District of Columbia and the several territories, so called; and the words "United States" shall be construed to include the said district and territories and all dependencies. See North Carolina General Statutes 12-3
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.