OKLAHOMA

CHILD SEX ABUSE SOLs

CURRENT CIVIL SOL

In Oklahoma, the SOL for child sex abuse claims against perpetrators is capped at age 45. Claims against other types of defendants have an SOL of age 20 (age of majority, 18, plus 2 years). 

CIVIL SOL SNAPSHOT

AGE CAP

AGE 45 AGAINST PERPETRATORS

AGE 20 AGAINST OTHER DEFENDANTS

DISCOVERY TOLLING

NONE

REVIVAL LAW

NONE

Changes Since 2002:

Age Cap: In 2002, the civil SOL in Oklahoma was age 20.  It added a provision in 2004 extending the SOL for claims against a perpetrator who is imprisoned to 5 years after the perpetrator’s release.  In 2017, it  extended the SOL to age 45 for actions against perpetrators only.

Discovery: Oklahoma has a common law discovery rule that tolls the applicable SOL “until an injured party knows of, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of or discovered the injury,” but that discovery rule was never applied to most tort actions, including child sexual abuse. In 1992, Oklahoma enacted a statutory 2-year discovery rule for victims with an upper limit of age 38 that accrued when they discovered their injury. Claims under the discovery rule required both objective, verifiable evidence of psychological repression of the victim’s memory and corroborating evidence that the sexual abuse occurred. It is unclear whether the statutory discovery rule applies to all defendants, including non-perpetrator defendants. In 2017 when Oklahoma extended its civil SOL, it removed its discovery rule.

Revival Law:  Oklahoma has not passed a window or other SOL revival legislation since 2002.

CURRENT OKLAHOMA CIVIL LAW

Okla. Stat. Ann. § 95 - Limitation of other actions

A. Civil actions other than for the recovery of real property can only be brought within the following periods, after the cause of action shall have accrued, and not afterwards:

1. Within five (5) years: An action upon any contract, agreement, or promise in writing;

2. Within three (3) years: An action upon a contract express or implied not in writing; an action upon a liability created by statute other than a forfeiture or penalty; and an action on a foreign judgment;

3. Within two (2) years: An action for trespass upon real property; an action for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property, including actions for the specific recovery of personal property; an action for injury to the rights of another, not arising on contract, and not hereinafter enumerated; an action for relief on the ground of fraud–the cause of action in such case shall not be deemed to have accrued until the discovery of the fraud;

4. Within one (1) year: An action for libel, slander, assault, battery, malicious prosecution, or false imprisonment; an action upon a statute for penalty or forfeiture, except where the statute imposing it prescribes a different limitation;

5.  An action upon the official bond or undertaking of an executor, administrator, guardian, sheriff, or any other officer, or upon the bond or undertaking given in attachment, injunction, arrest, or in any case whatever required by the statute, can only be brought within five (5) years after the cause of action shall have accrued;

6. An action based on intentional conduct brought by any person for recovery of damages for injury suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse incidents or exploitation as defined by Section 1-1-105 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes or incest against the actual perpetrator shall be commenced by the forty-fifth birthday of the alleged victim. If the person committing the act of sexual abuse against a child was employed by an institution, agency, firm, business, corporation or other public or private legal entity that owed a duty of care to the victim, or the accused and the child were engaged in some activity over which the legal entity had some degree of responsibility or control, the action must be brought against such employer or legal entity within two (2) years; provided, that the time limit for commencement of an action pursuant to this paragraph is tolled for a child until the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years. No action may be brought against the alleged perpetrator or the estate of the alleged perpetrator after the death of such alleged perpetrator, unless the perpetrator was convicted of a crime of sexual abuse involving the claimant. An action pursuant to this paragraph must be based upon objective verifiable evidence in order for the victim to recover damages for injuries suffered by reason of such sexual abuse, exploitation, or incest. The victim need not establish which act in a series of continuing sexual abuse incidents, exploitation incidents, or incest caused the injury complained of;

7. An action based on intentional conduct brought by any person for recovery of damages for injury suffered as a result of criminal actions, as defined by the Oklahoma Statutes, may be brought against any person incarcerated or under the supervision of a state, federal or local correctional facility on or after November 1, 2003:

a. at any time during the incarceration of the offender for the offense on which the action is based, or

b. within five (5) years after the perpetrator is released from the custody of a state, federal or local correctional facility, if the defendant was serving time for the offense on which the action is based;

8. An action to establish paternity and to enforce support obligations can be brought any time before the child reaches the age of eighteen (18);

9. An action to establish paternity can be brought by a child in accordance with Section 7700-606 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes;

10. Court-ordered child support is owed until it is paid in full and it is not subject to a statute of limitations;

11. All actions filed by an inmate or by a person based upon facts that occurred while the person was an inmate in the custody of one of the following:

a. the State of Oklahoma,

b. a contractor of the State of Oklahoma, or

c. a political subdivision of the State of Oklahoma,

to include, but not be limited to, the revocation of earned credits and claims for injury to the rights of another, shall be commenced within one (1) year after the cause of action shall have accrued; and

12. An action for relief, not hereinbefore provided for, can only be brought within five (5) years after the cause of action shall have accrued.

B. Collection of debts owed by inmates who have received damage awards pursuant to Section 566.1 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall be governed by the time limitations imposed by that section.

Case law

Christ’s Legacy Church v. Trinity Grp. Architects, Inc., 417 P.3d 1223, 1228 (Okla. Civ. App. 2018) (refusing to apply discovery rule to a negligent construction case).

CURRENT CRIMINAL SOL

In Oklahoma, the criminal SOL for child sex abuse crimes is age 45, and remaining felonies and misdemeanors have an SOL of 3 years after the offense. The SOL is extended 3 years after DNA identification of a perpetrator. 

CRIMINAL SOL SNAPSHOT

OTHER FELNOIES

RAPE

AGE 45 Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(C)(1)

FORCIBLE SODOMY

AGE 45 Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(C)(1)

LEWD OR INDECENT PROPOSALS

AGE 45 Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(C)(1)

PORNOGRAPHY CRIMES

AGE 45 Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(C)(1)

CHILD ABUSE

AGE 45 Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(C)(1)

OTHER FELONIES

3 YEARS AFTER OFFENSE Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(H)

OTHER MISDEMEANORS

3 YEARS AFTER OFFENSE Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(H)

DNA SNAPSHOT

 

RAPE

3 YEARS Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(C)(2)

FORCIBLE SODOMY

3 YEARS Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(C)(2)

LEWD OR INDECENT PROPOSALS

3 YEARS Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(C)(2)

PORNOGRAPHY CRIMES

3 YEARS Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(C)(2)

CHILD ABUSE

3 YEARS Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152(C)(2)

Changes Since 2002:

The criminal SOL in 2002 was 7 years after the crime was reported to law enforcement with a requirement that the crime must be reported before age 20, so the latest crimes could be prosecuted was age 26.  It also had a DNA statute that extended the SOL to 3-years after a DNA match if it was reported before age 20.  In 2005, it was amended to up to 12 years after being reported to the authorities before age 20, with an upper limit for the SOL of age 32.  In 2015, it was extended to include aggravated possession of child pornography. Then, in 2017, the SOL was extended to age 45 for child sex abuse crimes and the DNA statute no longer required that the crime be reported.  Prosecution for any remaining felonies and misdemeanors must commence within 3 years after the crime is committed.  Oklahoma is still one of only 8 states not to eliminate at least felony crimes from the SOL.

CURRENT OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL LAW

Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 152 - Statute of limitations

A. Prosecutions for the crimes of bribery, embezzlement of public money, bonds, securities, assets or property of the state or any county, school district, municipality or other subdivision thereof, or of any misappropriation of public money, bonds, securities, assets or property of the state or any county, school district, municipality or other subdivision thereof, falsification of public records of the state or any county, school district, municipality or other subdivision thereof, and conspiracy to defraud the State of Oklahoma or any county, school district, municipality or other subdivision thereof in any manner or for any purpose shall be commenced within seven (7) years after the discovery of the crime; provided, however, prosecutions for the crimes of embezzlement or misappropriation of public money, bonds, securities, assets or property of any school district, including those relating to student activity funds, or the crime of falsification of public records of any independent school district, the crime of criminal conspiracy, the crime of embezzlement pursuant to Sections 1451 through 1461 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the crime of False Personation or Identity Theft pursuant to Sections 1531 through 1533.3 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult pursuant to Sections 843.1, 843.3 and 843.4 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or Medicaid fraud pursuant to Section 1005 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes, shall be commenced within five (5) years after the discovery of the crime.

B. Prosecutions for criminal violations of any state income tax laws shall be commenced within five (5) years after the commission of such violation.

C. 1. Prosecutions for sexual crimes against children, specifically rape or forcible sodomy, sodomy, lewd or indecent proposals or acts against children, involving minors in pornography pursuant to Section 886, 888, 1111, 1111.1, 1113, 1114, 1021.2, 1021.3, 1040.12a or 1123 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, child abuse pursuant to Section 843.5 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, and child trafficking pursuant to Section 866 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall be commenced by the forty-fifth birthday of the alleged victim. Prosecutions for such crimes committed against victims eighteen (18) years of age or older shall be commenced within twelve (12) years after the discovery of the crime.

2. However, prosecutions for the crimes listed in paragraph 1 of this subsection may be commenced at any time after the commission of the offense if:

a. physical evidence is collected and preserved that is capable of being tested to obtain a profile from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and

b. the identity of the offender is subsequently established through the use of a DNA profile using evidence listed in subparagraph a of this paragraph.

A prosecution under this exception must be commenced within three (3) years from the date on which the identity of the suspect is established by DNA testing.

D. Prosecutions for criminal violations of any provision of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Code1 shall be commenced within three (3) years after the commission of such offense.

E. Prosecutions for the crime of criminal fraud or workers’ compensation fraud pursuant to Section 1541.1, 1541.2, 1662 or 1663 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall commence within three (3) years after the discovery of the crime, but in no event greater than seven (7) years after the commission of the crime.

F. Prosecution for the crime of false or bogus check pursuant to Section 1541.1, 1541.2, 1541.3 or 1541.4 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall be commenced within five (5) years after the commission of such offense.

G. Prosecution for the crime of solicitation for murder in the first degree pursuant to Section 701.16 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall be commenced within seven (7) years after the discovery of the crime. For purposes of this subsection, “discovery” means the date upon which the crime is made known to anyone other than a person involved in the solicitation.

H. In all other cases a prosecution for a public offense must be commenced within three (3) years after its commission.

I. Prosecution for the crime of accessory after the fact must be commenced within the same statute of limitations as that of the felony for which the person acted as an accessory.

J. Prosecution for the crime of arson pursuant to Section 1401, 1402, 1403, 1404 or 1405 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall be commenced within seven (7) years after the commission of the crime.

K. Prosecutions for criminal violations in which a deadly weapon is used to commit a felony or prosecutions for criminal violations in which a deadly weapon is used in an attempt to commit a felony shall be commenced within seven (7) years after the commission of the crime.

L. No prosecution under subsection C of this section shall be based upon the memory of the victim that has been recovered through psychotherapy unless there is some evidence independent of such repressed memory.

Any person who knowingly and willfully makes a false claim pursuant to subsection C of this section or a claim that the person knows lacks factual foundation may be reported to local law enforcement for criminal investigation and, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a felony.

M. As used in paragraph 1 of subsection C of this section, “discovery” means the date that a physical or sexually related crime involving a victim eighteen (18) years of age or older is reported to a law enforcement agency.

Case Law

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

Last Updated: April 21, 2021

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