How Long Before It’s Too Late for Me To Initiate An Action in Court?
Q1.Is there any time limit for me to initiate my action in Court?
Q2. What law govern the time limit to file action in Court?
Limitation Act 1953
Q3. When does a cause of action starts?
Cause of action will start from the commission of the wrongdoings. For example, cause of action to claim damages for bodily injury will start when the accident or negligent that caused the injury happens1.
Q4. How long can I file action should there be breach of contract?
6 years from the date of the contract being breached2.
Q5. If someone caused bodily injury to me from an accident, how much time do I have to sue that person?
6 years from the time the accident happened3.
Q6. If I have a Judgment or Order from the Court, how long can I enforce the Judgment or Order?
12 years, however if 6 years have lapsed you have to apply leave from the Court before you can enforce the said Judgment or Order even though you are still well within the 12 years limitation 4.
Q7. Please explain how to get a leave to enforce a Judgment or Order which has lapsed for 6 years.
You will have to file ex-parte leave application pursuant to Order 46 Rule 3 of Rules of Court 2012 supported with an affidavit identifying the Judgment or Order that you want to force, and explain to the Court why there was a delay in enforcing the Judgment or Order. The reason for the delay must be sufficient for the Court to exercise its jurisdiction to allow the leave to enforce a Judgment or Order5.
Q8. My late grandfather has bequeathed me a piece of his land in Melaka in his Will and he passed away last year. However, due to Covid-19 pandemic, I have yet to get the opportunity to deal with the transfer of the said land to my name. How much time do I have to complete the transfer of the land to myself?
No action shall be brought by any person to recover any land after the expiration of twelve years (12) from the date on which the right of action accrued to him. In your case, your right accrued on the death of your grandfather6. Therefore, you have 12 years from the date of the death of your grandfather to transfer the inherited land to your name7.
Q9. My grandfather purchased a land back in the year of 2000 with a seller and purchase money has been released to the seller. However, the seller has never transferred the property to my grandfather. My grandfather passed away last year; do I still have the time to claim the land as my grandfather’s estate administrator in the Court?
Yes, by claiming that the land must be held on trust on behalf of your late grandfather. A claim under the basis of trust has no time limitation8.
Q10. I have entered into a contract to purchase clothes from a supplier. the supplier has concealed the fact that the clothes failed to pass the customs clearance when the contract was entered between us. I want to initiate my claim in Court against the supplier but I am afraid if I am too late because the contract was entered a year ago.
Your right to claim will only commence when you discovered the fraud not when the contract was entered. Thus, pursuant to Section 6(1)(a) of Limitation Act 1953, you have 6 years to initiate action due to the breach of contract from the date you found out about the fraud.
 Muhamad Solleh bin Saarani & Anor v Norruhadi bin Omar & Ors  9 MLJ 603
 Section 6(1) of Limitation Act 1953
 Section 6(1) of Limitation Act 1953
 Section 6(3) of Limitation Act 1953
 Affin Bank Bhd vs. Wan Abdul Rahman Wan Ibrahim  1 CLJ 826
 Section 10(2) of Limitation Act 1953
 Section 22 of Limitation Act 1953
 Section 22(1) of Limitation Act 1953
 Section 29 of Limitation Act 1953
THIS FAQ IS PREPARED AND PUBLISHED BY GENERAL LITIGATION, CORPORATE INSOLVENCY AND APPELLATE DEPARTMENT OF THE DISPUTES RESOLUTION OF MESSRS GAN & ZUL, ADVOCATES & SOLICITORS.
Ben Lee Kam Foo (Partner)
Head of Dispute Resolution
Arbitrator & Adjudicator
Fellow of ADR, AIAC
Cross Border Taxation Planning
Shafihani Binti Md Ali
General Dispute Resolution
Contractual, Land and Commercial Disputes
Pre and Post Liquidation Disputes