As with every jurisdiction, there is a limitation period imposed for an action to be filed depending on the nature of the actionable right. These limitation periods are provided by the new Limitation of Actions Law (“Limitations Law 66 (I) 2012”). The aim of the Limitations Law 66 (I) 2012 is the abolition of the old Limitation of Actions Law (Cap.15) (“Limitations Law”), which has been adopted ever since Cyprus was a British Colony. Due to the inter-communal disturbances in 1964 the Limitations Law was suspended until the enforcement of the Limitations Law 66 (I) 2012.
The Limitations Law 66 (I) 2012 imposes various limitation periods, which vary in accordance to the nature of the causes of action. However, for civil claims, it prescribes a time limit of ten years from the occurrence of the cause of action.
The following are the specific limitation periods set by the Limitations Law 66 (I) 2012 for the most widely-encountered civil claims:
- The limitation period for Tort Claims, as provided by Article 6, is six years from the date of cause of action accrued.
- With regards to damages for negligence, nuisance and breach of statutory duty no action may be filed on the expiration of three years from the date the cause of action accrued as set by Article 6(2).
- Article 6(3) gives the discretion to the Court for actions relating to compensation for physical injuries and/or death to extend the time limit, bearing in mind the length of the delay, the capability of the claimant to find the evidence for the claim and other reasons the Court may find suitable. However, the Court will not exercise its discretion after the completion of two years from the date of expiration of the imposed limitation.
- Pursuant to Article 5 actions regarding mortgages and/or pledges may be filed within a period of twelve years from the date the cause of action accrued.
- Article 7 sets that no action for breach of contract may be filed following the expiration of six years from the date the cause of action accrued. However, for actions in relation to the remuneration of self-employed persons, such as lawyers, doctors, dentists, architects or civil engineers the prescribed limitation period is three years.
- Article 8 provides that no action with regards to bills of exchange, bonds in customary forms, cheques and promissory notes may be filed following the expiration of six years from the date the cause of action accrued.
- Actions for defamation and malicious falsehood may be filed within one year from the date the cause of action accrued as per Article 6(4).
- Article 10 prescribes that appeals against court decisions may be filed within the period of fifteen years from the date of the final court decision.
- Article 9 provides that actions filed by heirs and/or legatees about the property and/or part of it of a deceased must be filed within eight years from the date of death.
- According to Article 14 the limitation period will not not be applicable if the action relates to a fraud committed by a defendant or if the defendant has not disclosed a fact related to the cause of action on purpose.