SENATE, No. 477







Sponsored by:


District 20 (Union)

Senator  SEAN T. KEAN

District 11 (Monmouth)






     Requires legal action against certain licensed persons to be brought within two years.



     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel


An Act concerning limitations of civil actions and amending N.J.S.2A:14-1


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    N.J.S..2A:14-1 is amended to read as follows:

     2A:14-1.  a.  Every action at law for trespass to real property, for any tortious injury to real or personal property, for taking, detaining, or converting personal property, for replevin of goods or chattels, for any tortious injury to the rights of another not stated in [sections] N.J.S.2A:14-2 and N.J.S.2A:14-3 [of this Title], or for recovery upon a contractual claim or liability, express or implied, not under seal, or upon an account other than one which concerns the trade or merchandise between merchant and merchant, their factors, agents and servants, shall be commenced within 6 years next after the cause of any such action shall  have accrued.

     This section shall not apply to any action for breach of any contract for sale governed by [section] N.J.S.12A:2-725 [of the New Jersey Statutes] or to any action subject to the requirements of section 2 of P.L.1995, c.139 (C.2A:53A-27).

     b.    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, every action at law against licensed persons as defined by section 1 of P.L.1995, c.139 (C.2A:53A-26) and which is subject to the requirements of section 2 of P.L.1995, c.139 (C.2A:53A-27) shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of the action shall have occurred.  Attorneys fees shall not be awarded in any action subject to the limitations period in this subsection, except where authorized by statute or the New Jersey Rules of Court.

(cf:  P.L.1961, c.121, s.1)


     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.





     This bill reduces the statute of imitations period for certain actions against professionals who are licensed persons as defined in N.J.S.A.2A:53A-26.

     Specifically, the bill amends current law to reduce the six year limitations period to two years for actions against certain licensed professionals.

     By establishing a two year statute of limitations for certain claims, licensed professionals will be treated in the same manner as health care providers subject to the two year statute limitations period set forth in N.J.S.2A:14-2.  A two year statute of limitations period, moreover, will provide businesses offering professional services to predict with greater certainty, potential liabilities and to plan for such liabilities accordingly.

     The bill also prohibits the award of attorney fees in an action brought against a licensed professional pursuant to the bill, unless they are authorized by statute or the Rules of Court.