This is the next article in our series on the Oklahoma Statute of Limitations for Civil cases.  The last article discussed the statute of limitations for personal injury cases.  In this post, we will discuss the statute of limitations for breach of contract cases.

In short, the statute of limitation means the time you have from the day of the incident to initiate a legal proceeding against another party.  Most civil cases are governed by a strict time limit.  Failure to file suit within the statutory time limit will prevent you from winning the case.  However, initiating a suit within the statutory period is only the beginning.  Having the right representation throughout the case will help you finish strong.  Contact Niroula Law online or via telephone to get in touch with an Oklahoma trial law firm and speak to a breach of contract attorney.

What is a contract?

Before we get to the breach, let’s focus on the term “contract” itself.  A contract is simply an agreement to do or refrain from doing a certain thing.  15 O.S. §1.

A valid contract is an agreement between parties who are capable of contracting, with mutual consent, a lawful purpose, and an exchange of sufficient consideration. 15 O.S. §2.  A consideration is anything of value that you receive as a part of the contract.  It can be money, goods, promises, or labor.

Contracts are not required to be in writing to be valid. 15 O.S. §134.  For example, if you verbally offer a handyman $500 to fix your sink and he agrees, then you have a valid contract.  However, contracts including one that cannot be fulfilled within a year, one for the sale of real property, or one for the sale of goods over $500 must be in writing.

What is a breach of contract?

Breach of contract by a party is their inability to hold their part of the bargain without a legal excuse.  It includes their failure to perform as promised under the contract.

For example, you enter into a written agreement with a contractor to remodel your kitchen for $15,000.  The contractor fails to complete the job on time and leaves the kitchen unfinished.  He has breached the contract.

Similarly, your neighbor verbally offers to pay you $500 to mow his lawn and you agree.  After the payment, you fail to perform the task.  You have breached the contract.

Oklahoma’s statute of limitations for breach of written contract is five (5) years

A suit alleging a breach of an agreement that’s in writing can only be brought within five years from the day of the breach. 12 O.S. §95(A)(1).

You enter into a written contract with a landscape company to build an outdoor kitchen.  As of July 1, 2024, the company has quit working on your job and left the kitchen unfinished.  You have until July 1, 2029, to bring a lawsuit against the landscape company for breach of contract.

Oklahoma’s statute of limitations for breach of oral contract is three (3) years

An action alleging a breach of an oral contract can only be brought within three years from the date of its breach.  12 O.S. §95(A)(2).

You and a web designer buddy agree that he will build a website for your business in exchange for a $500 fee.  If you fail to pay by the due date after the job’s completion, August 15, 2024, then he has until August 15, 2027, to bring a suit against you.

Oklahoma’s statute of limitations for breach of contract for sale of goods is five (5) years

When there is a contract for the sale of goods, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) controls.  Oklahoma statutes codify the UCC under Title 12A and state that an action for a breach of any contract for the sale of goods must be commenced within five years after the cause of action has accrued.  12A O.S. §2-725.

It’s important to keep in mind that a contract for the sale of goods for over $500 must be in writing to be enforceable.  12A O.S. §2-201(1).

You manufacture and sell hand-knitted hats to local retailers in Oklahoma.  One of your clients failed to pay, under the contract, for goods totaling $2,500 after the due date of September 1, 2024.  You have until September 1, 2029, to file a lawsuit against the client.

OKC Contracts lawyer

Whether you are the breaching or non-breaching party, a solid representation can make a world of difference in your breach of contract case.  A knowledgeable attorney can help you assess your situation and recommend legal strategy tailored to your case.  If you are contemplating bringing a lawsuit for a breach of contract, we are here to help.  Niroula Law will give your case the attention it deserves.  Contact us online or by telephone to get in touch with a contracts law firm and speak to an OKC trial lawyer.