MICHIGAN

CHILD SEX ABUSE SOLs

CURRENT CIVIL SOL

In Michigan, the civil SOL for child sex abuse is set at age 28 with a 3 year discovery rule.

CIVIL SOL SNAPSHOT

AGE CAP

Age 28

DISCOVERY TOLLING

3 Years

REVIVAL LAW

90-day window (closed 2018)

Changes Since 2002:

Age Cap: From at least 1986 up until 2018, Michigan had the shortest civil SOL in the United States, with civil claims expiring at the age of 19.  In 2018, the law was amended to allow civil claims to be brought until age 28.

Discovery:  In general, Michigan does not recognize a common law discovery rule for child sex abuse, except, as of 1997, if a defendant admitted to the abuse. In 2018, Michigan adopted a statutory 3-year discovery rule, which runs from “the date the individual discovers, or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered, both the individual’s injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the criminal sexual conduct.” This discovery rule has not yet been interpreted by courts, but it does appear to apply to claims against all types of defendants.

Revival Law:  In 2018, Michigan also opened a 90-day revival window for post-1996 offenses that would only apply to cases where the perpetrator was a physician who had been convicted of sexual misconduct under the guise of a medical procedure, essentially limiting the revival window to previously expired child sex abuse claims for the victims of Larry Nassar only.

CURRENT MICHIGAN CIVIL LAW

Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5805 - Injuries to persons or property

Sec. 5805. (1) A person shall not bring or maintain an action to recover damages for injuries to persons or property unless, after the claim first accrued to the plaintiff or to someone through whom the plaintiff claims, the action is commenced within the periods of time prescribed by this section.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the period of limitations is 3 years after the time of the death or injury for all actions to recover damages for the death of a person or for injury to a person or property.

(3) Subject to subsections (4) to (6), the period of limitations is 2 years for an action charging assault, battery, or false imprisonment.

(4) Subject to subsection (6), the period of limitations is 5 years for an action charging assault or battery brought by a person who has been assaulted or battered by his or her spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or a person with whom he or she resides or formerly resided.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), the period of limitations is 5 years for an action charging assault and battery brought by a person who has been assaulted or battered by an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship.

(6) The period of limitations is 10 years for an action to recover damages sustained because of criminal sexual conduct. For purposes of this subsection, it is not necessary that a criminal prosecution or other proceeding have been brought as a result of the conduct or, if a criminal prosecution or other proceeding was brought, that the prosecution or proceeding resulted in a conviction or adjudication.

(7) The period of limitations is 2 years for an action charging malicious prosecution.

(8) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the period of limitations is 2 years for an action charging malpractice.

(9) The period of limitations is 2 years for an action against a sheriff charging misconduct or neglect of office by the sheriff or the sheriff’s deputies.

(10) The period of limitations is 2 years after the expiration of the year for which a constable was elected for actions based on the constable’s negligence or misconduct as constable.

(11) The period of limitations is 1 year for an action charging libel or slander.

(12) The period of limitations is 3 years for a products liability action. However, in for1 a product that has been in use for not less than 10 years, the plaintiff, in proving a prima facie case, must do so without the benefit of any presumption.

(13) An action against a state licensed architect or professional engineer or licensed professional surveyor arising from professional services rendered is an action charging malpractice subject to the period of limitation contained in subsection (8).

(14) The periods of limitation under this section are subject to any applicable period of repose established in section 5838a, 5838b, or 5839.

(15) The amendments to this section made by 2011 PA 162 apply to causes of action that accrue on or after January 1, 2012.

(16) As used in this section:

(a) “Adjudication” means an adjudication of 1 or more offenses under chapter XIIA of the probate code of 1939, 1939 PA 288, MCL 712A.1 to 712A.32.

(b) “Criminal sexual conduct” means conduct prohibited under section 520b, 520c, 520d, 520e, or 520g of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520b, 750.520c, 750.520d, 750.520e, and 750.520g.

(c) “Dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional involvement. Dating relationship does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in a business or social context.

 

Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5851b - Minor victims of criminal sexual conduct

Sec. 5851b. (1) Notwithstanding sections 5805 and 5851,1 an individual who, while a minor, is the victim of criminal sexual conduct may commence an action to recover damages sustained because of the criminal sexual conduct at any time before whichever of the following is later:

(a) The individual reaches the age of 28 years.

(b) Three years after the date the individual discovers, or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered, both the individual’s injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the criminal sexual conduct.

(2) For purposes of subsection (1), it is not necessary that a criminal prosecution or other proceeding have been brought as a result of the conduct or, if a criminal prosecution or other proceeding was brought, that the prosecution or proceeding resulted in a conviction or adjudication.

(3) Regardless of any period of limitation under subsection (1) or sections 5805 or 5851, an individual who, while a minor, was the victim of criminal sexual conduct after December 31, 1996 but before 2 years before the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section may commence an action to recover damages sustained because of the criminal sexual conduct within 90 days after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section if the person alleged to have committed the criminal sexual conduct was convicted of criminal sexual conduct against any person under section 520b of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520b, and the defendant admitted either of the following:

(a) That the defendant was in a position of authority over the victim as the victim’s physician and used that authority to coerce the victim to submit.

(b) That the defendant engaged in purported medical treatment or examination of the victim in a manner that is, or for purposes that are, medically recognized as unethical or unacceptable.

(4) This section does not limit an individual’s right to bring an action under section 5851.

(5) As used in this section:

(a) “Adjudication” means that term as defined in section 5805.

(b) “Criminal sexual conduct” means that term as defined in section 5805.

Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5851 - Disabilities of infancy or insanity at accrual of claim; year of grace; tacking; removal of infancy disability; medical malpractice exception; application to imprisonment disability

Sec. 5851. (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (7) and (8), if the person first entitled to make an entry or bring an action under this act is under 18 years of age or insane at the time the claim accrues, the person or those claiming under the person shall have 1 year after the disability is removed through death or otherwise, to make the entry or bring the action although the period of limitations has run. This section does not lessen the time provided for in section 5852.

(2) The term insane as employed in this chapter means a condition of mental derangement such as to prevent the sufferer from comprehending rights he or she is otherwise bound to know and is not dependent on whether or not the person has been judicially declared to be insane.

(3) To be considered a disability, the infancy or insanity must exist at the time the claim accrues. If the disability comes into existence after the claim has accrued, a court shall not recognize the disability under this section for the purpose of modifying the period of limitations.

(4) A person shall not tack successive disabilities. A court shall recognize only those disabilities that exist at the time the claim first accrues and that disable the person to whom the claim first accrues for the purpose of modifying the period of limitations.

(5) A court shall recognize both of the disabilities of infancy or insanity that disable the person to whom the claim first accrues at the time the claim first accrues. A court shall count the year of grace provided in this section from the termination of the last disability to the person to whom the claim originally accrued that has continued from the time the claim accrued, whether this disability terminates because of the death of the person disabled or for some other reason.

(6) With respect to a claim accruing before the effective date of the age of majority act of 1971, Act No. 79 of the Public Acts of 1971, being sections 722.51 to 722.55 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, the disability of infancy is removed as of the effective date of Act No. 79 of the Public Acts of 1971, as to persons who were at least 18 years of age but less than 21 years of age on January 1, 1972, and is removed as of the eighteenth birthday of a person who was under 18 years of age on January 1, 1972.

(7) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (8), if, at the time a claim alleging medical malpractice accrues to a person under section 5838a the person has not reached his or her eighth birthday, a person shall not bring an action based on the claim unless the action is commenced on or before the person’s tenth birthday or within the period of limitations set forth in section 5838a, whichever is later. If, at the time a claim alleging medical malpractice accrues to a person under section 5838a, the person has reached his or her eighth birthday, he or she is subject to the period of limitations set forth in section 5838a.

(8) If, at the time a claim alleging medical malpractice accrues to a person under section 5838a, the person has not reached his or her thirteenth birthday and if the claim involves an injury to the person’s reproductive system, a person shall not bring an action based on the claim unless the action is commenced on or before the person’s fifteenth birthday or within the period of limitations set forth in section 5838a, whichever is later. If, at the time a claim alleging medical malpractice accrues to a person under section 5838a, the person has reached his or her thirteenth birthday and the claim involves an injury to the person’s reproductive system, he or she is subject to the period of limitations set forth in section 5838a.

(9) If a person was serving a term of imprisonment on the effective date of the 1993 amendatory act that added this subsection, and that person has a cause of action to which the disability of imprisonment would have been applicable under the former provisions of this section, an entry may be made or an action may be brought under this act for that cause of action within 1 year after the effective date of the 1993 amendatory act that added this subsection, or within any other applicable period of limitation provided by law.

(10) If a person died or was released from imprisonment at any time within the period of 1 year preceding the effective date of the 1993 amendatory act that added this subsection, and that person had a cause of action to which the disability of imprisonment would have been applicable under the former provisions of this section on the date of his or her death or release from imprisonment, an entry may be made or an action may be brought under this act for that cause of action within 1 year after the date of his or her death or release from imprisonment, or within any other applicable period of limitation provided by law.

(11) As used in this section, “release from imprisonment” means either of the following:

(a) A final release or discharge from imprisonment in a county jail.

(b) Release on parole or a final release or discharge from imprisonment in a state or federal correctional facility.

Case law

CURRENT CRIMINAL SOL

In Michigan, there is no criminal SOL for 1st degree criminal sexual conduct and trafficking punishable by life in prison. The SOL for 2nd and 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct is age 28, or 15 years from DNA identification, the SOL for other trafficking crimes is 25 years, and the SOL for remaining felonies is age 21 or 10 years from DNA identification.

CRIMINAL SOL SNAPSHOT

OTHER FELNOIES

1ST DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT

No SOL Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 767.24

TRAFFICKING PUNISHABLE BY LIFE IN PRISON

No SOL Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 767.24

2ND AND 3RD DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT

Age 28 or 15 years from DNA identification Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 767.24(4)

OTHER TRAFFICKING CRIMES

25 years from offense Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 767.24(2)

OTHER FELONIES

Age 21 or 10 years after DNA identification Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 767.24(3)

MISDEMEANOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT IN 4TH DEGREE

Age 21 or 10 years after DNA identification Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 767.24(3)

DNA SNAPSHOT

 

CIRCUMCISION, TRAFFICKING, 4TH DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT

10 years after identification or age 21 Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 767.24(3)-(5)

2ND AND 3RD DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT

15 years after identification Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 767.24(3)-(5)

 Changes Since 2002:

In 2001, Michigan eliminated the criminal SOL for first-degree criminal sexual conduct.  All other felonies and misdemeanors had an SOL of 10 years from the offense or from DNA identification, or age 21, whichever is later.  In 2014 the SOL was removed for trafficking offenses punishable by life imprisonment and extended to 25 years from the offense for the remaining trafficking crimes.  In 2018, Michigan extended the criminal SOL for 2nd and 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct to 15 years from the offense or from DNA identification, or age 28, whichever is later. 

CURRENT MICHIGAN CRIMINAL LAW

Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 767.24 - Limitation of actions; extension or tolling

Sec. 24. (1) An indictment for any of the following crimes may be found and filed at any time:

(a) Murder, conspiracy to commit murder, or solicitation to commit murder, or criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.

(b) A violation of chapter XXXIII of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.200 to 750.212a, that is punishable by imprisonment for life.

(c) A violation of chapter LXVIIA of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.462a to 750.462h, that is punishable by imprisonment for life.

(d) A violation of the Michigan anti-terrorism act, chapter LXXXIII-A of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.543a to 750.543z, that is punishable by imprisonment for life.

(2) An indictment for a violation or attempted violation of section 13, 462b, 462c, 462d, or 462e of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.13, 750.462b, 750.462c, 750.462d, and 750.462e, may be found and filed within 25 years after the offense is committed. This subsection shall be known as “Theresa Flores’s Law”.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (4) for a violation of section 520c or 520d of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520c and 750.520d, in which the victim is under 18 years of age, an indictment for a violation or attempted violation of section 136, 136a, 145c, 520c, 520d, 520e, or 520g of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.136, 750.136a, 750.145c, 750.520c, 750.520d, 750.520e, and 750.520g, may be found and filed as follows:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), an indictment may be found and filed within 10 years after the offense is committed or by the alleged victim’s twenty-first birthday, whichever is later.

(b) If evidence of the offense is obtained and that evidence contains DNA that is determined to be from an unidentified individual, an indictment against that individual for the offense may be found and filed at any time after the offense is committed. However, after the individual is identified, the indictment may be found and filed within 10 years after the individual is identified or by the alleged victim’s twenty-first birthday, whichever is later.

(4) An indictment for a violation of section 520c or 520d of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520c and 750.520d, in which the victim is under 18 years of age may be found and filed as follows:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), an indictment may be found and filed within 15 years after the offense is committed or by the alleged victim’s twenty-eighth birthday, whichever is later.

(b) If evidence of the offense is obtained and that evidence contains DNA that is determined to be from an unidentified individual, an indictment against that individual for the offense may be found and filed at any time after the offense is committed. However, after the individual is identified, the indictment may be found and filed within 15 years after the individual is identified or by the alleged victim’s twenty-eighth birthday, whichever is later.

(5) As used in subsections (3) and (4):

(a) “DNA” means human deoxyribonucleic acid.

(b) “Identified” means the individual’s legal name is known and he or she has been determined to be the source of the DNA.

(6) An indictment for kidnapping, extortion, assault with intent to commit murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, or first-degree home invasion may be found and filed as follows:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), an indictment may be found and filed within 10 years after the offense is committed.

(b) If the offense is reported to a police agency within 1 year after the offense is committed and the individual who committed the offense is unknown, an indictment for that offense may be found and filed within 10 years after the individual is identified. This subsection shall be known as Brandon D’Annunzio’s law. As used in this subsection, “identified” means the individual’s legal name is known.

(7) An indictment for identity theft or attempted identity theft may be found and filed as follows:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), an indictment may be found and filed within 6 years after the offense is committed.

(b) If evidence of the offense is obtained and the individual who committed the offense has not been identified, an indictment may be found and filed at any time after the offense is committed, but not more than 6 years after the individual is identified.

(8) As used in subsection (7):

(a) “Identified” means the individual’s legal name is known.

(b) “Identity theft” means 1 or more of the following:

(i) Conduct prohibited in section 5 or 7 of the identity theft protection act, 2004 PA 452, MCL 445.65 and 445.67.

(ii) Conduct prohibited under former section 285 of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328.1

(9) An indictment for false pretenses involving real property, forgery or uttering and publishing of an instrument affecting an interest in real property, or mortgage fraud may be found and filed within 10 years after the offense was committed or within 10 years after the instrument affecting real property was recorded, whichever occurs later.

(10) All other indictments may be found and filed within 6 years after the offense is committed.

(11) Any period during which the party charged did not usually and publicly reside within this state is not part of the time within which the respective indictments may be found and filed.

(12) The extension or tolling, as applicable, of the limitations period provided in this section applies to any of those violations for which the limitations period has not expired at the time the extension or tolling takes effect.

Case Law

The information provided is solely for informational purposes and is not legal advice. To determine the Michigan SOL in a particular case, contact a lawyer in the state.

Last Updated: April 21, 2021

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