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A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time that parties have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense. A statute of limitations, known in civil law systems as a prescriptive period, is a law passed by a legislative body to set the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated.. When the time specified in a statute of limitations passes, a claim might no longer be filed or, if filed, may be subject to dismissal if the defense against that claim is raised that the