28 U.S. Code § 2501 - Time for filing suit

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Every claim of which the United States Court of Federal Claims has jurisdiction shall be barred unless the petition thereon is filed within six years after such claim first accrues.
Every claim under section 1497 of this title shall be barred unless the petition thereon is filed within two years after the termination of the river and harbor improvements operations on which the claim is based.
A petition on the claim of a person under legal disability or beyond the seas at the time the claim accrues may be filed within three years after the disability ceases.
A suit for the fees of an officer of the United States shall not be filed until his account for such fees has been finally acted upon, unless the Government Accountability Office fails to act within six months after receiving the account.


(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 976; Sept. 3, 1954, ch. 1263, § 52,68 Stat. 1246; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, § 139(a),Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 42; Pub. L. 102–572, title IX, § 902(a)(1),Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4516; Pub. L. 108–271, § 8(b),July 7, 2004, 118 Stat. 814.)
Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§ 250(2), 250a, and 262 (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §§ 145, 156,36 Stat. 1136, 1139; June 10, 1921, ch. 18, § 304,42 Stat. 24; Aug. 30, 1935, ch. 831, § 13,49 Stat. 1049; July 13, 1943, ch. 231, 57 Stat. 553).
Section consolidates limitation provisions of sections 250(2), 250a, and 262 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed.
Words “a person under legal disability or beyond the seas at the time the claim accrues” were substituted for “married women first accrued during marriage, of persons under the age of twenty-one years first accrued during minority, and of idiots, lunatics, insane persons, and persons beyond the seas at the time the claim accrued; entitled to the claim,”. The revised language will cover all legal disabilities actually barring suit. For example, the particular reference to married women is archaic, and is eliminated by use of the general language substituted.
Words “nor shall any of the said disabilities operate cumulatively” were omitted, in view of the elimination of the reference to specific disabilities. Also, persons under legal disability could not sue, and their suits should not be barred until they become able to sue. Similar sections of the U.S. Code do not contain any such provision. (For example, see section 502 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., incorporated in section 544 of this title.)
The section was extended to include claims referred by the head of an executive department in conformity with section 2510 of this title.

2004—Pub. L. 108–271substituted “Government Accountability Office” for “General Accounting Office” in last par.
1992—Pub. L. 102–572substituted “United States Court of Federal Claims” for “United States Claims Court”.
1982—Pub. L. 97–164substituted “United States Claims Court” for “Court of Claims”.
1954—Act Sept. 3, 1954, struck out “, or the claim is referred by the Senate or House of Representatives, or by the head of an executive department” in first par.
Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–572effective Oct. 29, 1992, see section 911 ofPub. L. 102–572, set out as a note under section 171 of this title.
Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 ofPub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of this title.

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.

28 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large


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