All jurisdictions apply particular limitation periods for an action to be filed. In Cyprus limitation periods where set out in the Limitation of Actions Law, Cap 15 ("Limitations Law"), which was adopted since Cyprus was a British colony.
The inter-communal disturbances in 1964 caused the suspension of the Limitations Law which remained suspended ever since. In 2002, the Law of the Suspension of Limitation Period (Provisional Provisions) Law (Law 110(I) of 2002) was formed and provided that the Limitations Law would re-enter into force in June 2005, (with certain exceptions on matters resulted from the Turkish Invasion). Again however, a succession of laws passed in the interim extended the suspension until 30 June 2012.
Generally the enforcement of Limitations Law was extensively discussed, and it is now set that from 1st July 2012 the new Limitations Law 66(I) 2012 will be enforced.
Limitation Periods vary, according to the nature of the causes of action and range from one to fifteen years as presented and clarified in the new Limitations Law 66(I) 2012.
With regards to causes of action not expressly stated or exempted in the Law, the limitation period is ten years from the occurrence of the cause of action.
The new Limitations Law 66(I) 2012 inter alia provide the following limitations:
1. No action may be filed if a period of ten years expired from the date the cause of action occurred.
2. No Action with regards mortgage and or pledge may be filed if a period of twelve years expires from the date of cause of action.
3. No Action on Torts may be filed on the expiration of six years period from the date of cause of action
a. If the Action is with regards compensation for negligence, nuisance and breach of statutory duty, no action may be field on the expiration of three years from the date of cause of action.
b. On Actions with regards compensation for physical injuries and or death in Torts, the court has discretion to decide not to apply the time limit considering inter alia the reasons of delay, the capability of the claimant to find the evidence for the claim and any other factors which the court will consider relevant as fair and just.
4. No Action for defamation and malicious falsehood may be filed following the expiration of one year from the date of cause of action.
5. No action with regards contracts may be filed following the expiration of six years from the date of cause of action.
6. No action with regards inter alia bill of exchange may be filed following the expiration of six years from the date of cause of action.
7. No Action may be filed by heir and or legatee with regards property and or part of it of a deceased, following the expiration of eight years from the date of death.
8. No appeal against court decision may be filed following the expiration of fifteen years from the date of final court decision.
9. The limitation period will not start counting, or if already started, will be postponed, inter alia between trustees and beneficiaries, if the beneficiaries are minors or if the beneficiaries are unborn. The limitation period starts when the beneficiaries are borne and become adults.
10.The limitation period will not start counting if the action relates to fraud of the defendant or the defendant has on purpose hidden a fact related to the cause of action.
For further information on this topic please contact Mr. Lucas Kokkinos at SOTERIS PITTAS & CO LLC, by telephone (+357 25 028460) or by fax (+357 25 028461) or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The statements contained in this publication are not legal opinions and readers should not act on the basis of such statements without first consulting a lawyer.