Ohio Revises Statutes of Limitation Relating to Contract Claims

Ohio has enacted a significant revision of its statutes of limitation governing contract claims. In March, Governor Mike DeWine signed into law Senate Bill 13, which shortens the limitation periods governing these claims under Ohio Revised Code Section 2305. Senate Bill 13 reduces the limitations period applicable to written contracts from eight (8) years to six (6) years, and the limitations period applicable to oral contracts from six (6) years to four (4) years. In addition, the limitations period relating to certain consumer transactions has been set at six (6) years.

Ohio Revised Code 2305.06, as amended, effective June 16, 2021, now provides that plaintiffs must file breach of contract claims arising out of a contract in writing within six (6) years after the cause of action accrued. Any such claims, which accrued before June 16, 2021, must be filed by the earlier of: (i) June 16, 2027 or (ii) the remaining period under the prior version of that statute (which provided for an eight (8) year limitations period).

Ohio Revised Code 2305.07(A), as amended, effective June 16, 2021, now provides that plaintiffs must file breach of contract claims arising out of a contract not in writing within four (4) years after the cause of action accrued. Any such claims, which accrued before June 16, 2021, must be filed by the earlier of: (i) June 16, 2025 or (ii) the remaining period under the prior version of that statute (which provided for a six (6) year limitations period).

The new Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.07(C) requires plaintiffs filing breach of contract claims arising out of most consumer transactions, with the notable exception of claims arising under Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, to file such claims within six (6) years after the cause of action accrued. Any such claims, which accrued before June 16, 2021, must be filed by the earlier of: (i) June 16, 2027 or (ii) the remaining period under any prior applicable statute of limitations, whichever is shorter. The newly amended 2305.07(C) describes these claims as actions “arising out of a consumer transaction incurred primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, based upon any contract, agreement, obligation, liability or promise, express or implied, including an account stated, whether or not reduced to writing or signed by the party to be charged by that transaction.”

The Senate Bill 13 changes do not affect all contract-based claims. The following claims are unaffected: (i) actions against the State, other than actions for unclaimed funds; (ii) actions relating to the sale of goods under UCC Article 2; (iii) actions on a promissory note governed by UCC; (iv) actions arising under Revised Code Section 1345.01 et. seq., (The Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act); (v) actions to recover title to or possession of real property; (vi) actions excepted under 2305.07(B), which that section describes as actions “upon a liability created by statute other than a forfeiture or penalty.”

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