Legal Memorandum: Conspiracy Statute of Limitations in WI

Issue: What is statute of limitations for a civil conspiracy claim in Wisconsin?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Civil conspiracy claims; Statute of limitations; Tort
Jurisdiction: Wisconsin
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Wis. Stat. § 893.57; Wis. Stat. § 893.54
Date: 01/01/2015

There is no Wisconsin statute of limitations that is made expressly applicable to conspiracy claims.  In part this may be because civil conspiracy is not considered an independent tort; rather the cause of action recognized is not one for conspiracy per se, but rather for the damages resulting from the executed conspiracy.  See Onderdonk v. Lamb 79 Wis. 2d 241, 246 (1979). 

Generally, claims for an intentional tort to the person, including intentional infliction of emotional distress, are subject to a three-year statute of limitations.  Wis. Stat. § 893.57.  Claims for actions for damages to the person, including the negligent infliction of emotional distress are also subject to a three-year limitations period.  Wis. Stat. § 893.54.  Thus, whichever of these statutes is determined to apply, it is likely to be a three-year limitation.

A tort cause of action accrues from the date the plaintiff discovered, or should have discovered his injury.  Sawyer v. Midelfort, 227 Wis. 2d 124, 155 (Wis. 1999).  To begin running the limitations period, the plaintiff must also have knowledge of at least one suable party; knowledge of all suable parties is not required.  Dakin v. Marciniak, 280 Wis. 2d 491, 505-06 (Wis. Ct. App. 2005).


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