Same - Lapse Of Time

268. Lapse of time may affect the remedy of the parties to a contract, but, in the absence of statutory provision, it cannot affect their rights.

269. In all the states there are statutes of limitation barring actions on contracts unless they are brought within a prescribed time.

Laches may bar the right to relief in equity,85 and at law a creditor's delay in asserting his claim may raise a rebuttable pre-

296, 35 Pac. 985; Baugh v. Baugh, 4 Bibb (Ky.) 536; Pierce v. Hilton, 102 Cal. 276, 36 Pac. 593; Sivers v. Sivers, 97 Cal. 518, 32 Pac. 571. See "Judgment," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 570; Cent. Dig. §§ 1028-1045.

83 Bull v. Hopkins, 7 Johns. (N. Y.) 22; McFarlane v. Cushman, 21 Wis. 406; Brackett v. People, 115 I11. 29, 3 N. E. 723; Rodgers v. Levy, 36 Neb. 601, 54 N. W. 10S0; Baxter v. Aubrey, 41 Mich. 13, 1 N. W. 897; Wood v. Faut, 55 Micb. 185, 20 N. W. 897. See "Judgment," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 570; Cent. Dig. §§ 1028-1045.

84 Hickey v. Stewart, 3 How. 750, 11 L. Ed. 814; Stowell v. Chamberlain, 60 N. Y. 272; Reading v. Price, 3 J. J. Marsh. (Ky.) 62, 19 Am. Dec. 162; Mount v. Scholes, 120 I11. 394, 11 N. E. 401; Richardson v. Aiken, 84 I11. 221; Oleson v. Merrihew, 45 Wis. 397. See "Judgment," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 542-548; Cent. Dig. §§ 987-998.

85 Eads v. Williams, 4 De Gex, M. & G. 674; Southcombe v. Bishop, 6 Hare, 213; Seculovich v. Morton, 101 Cal. 673, 36 Pac. 387, 40 Am. St. Rep. 106; Rogers v. Van Nortwick, 87 Wis. 414, 58 N. W. 757; Hogan v. Kyle, 7 Wash. 595, 35 Pac. 399, 38 Am. St. Rep. 910; Cocanougber v. Green, 93 Ky. 519, 20 S. W. 542; Rogers v. Saunders, 16 Me. 92, 33 Am. Dec. 635; Pattersumption that the debt is paid;88 but, aside from this, lapse of time, in the absence of statutory provision, does not affect the rights of the parties to a contract. The rights arising from a contract are of a permanent and indestructible character, unless either from the nature of the contract or from its terms it is limited in point of duration.87

In all states, however, there are "statutes of limitations," which provide that actions on contracts must be brought within a certain number of years, or be barred. The time limited varies in the different states. In some states no distinction with respect to the time limited is made between the different kinds of contracts, while in others such a distinction is made. These statutes vary in other respects, and only brief mention of some of their more general provisions can be made.