A statute of limitations serves to restrict access to the courts after a specified amount of time has passed. The reasons for such are many, but the underlying principle is simply that if you wait too long, you give up the opportunity to resolve your issue with the courts. The statute of limitations is created by the legislature, but the parties to a contract can also agree to limit the time to bring an action before a court of law. When this happens, a question often arises as to which controls, the statute or the contract.
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