North Dakota

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The Laws That Should Protect Our Children

Current Civil SOL in a nutshell

SOL: + 7 years from narrow discovery vs perp; + 1 year from majority or + 6 years from narrow discovery for negligence claims; +1 year from majorty or +2 years from narrow discovery for assault/battery and malpractice claims

Majority Tolling: √ Age 18 Discovery Tolling: √ Narrow

SOL: + 7 years from narrow discovery vs perp; + 1 year from majority or + 6 years from narrow discovery for negligence claims; +1 year from majorty or +2 years from narrow discovery for assault/battery and malpractice claims

  1. N.D. Cent. Code, § 28-01-25.1. “Notwithstanding section 28-01-25, a claim for relief resulting from childhood sexual abuse must be commenced within seven years after the plaintiff knew or reasonably should have known that a potential claim exists resulting from alleged childhood sexual abuse. For purposes of this section, “childhood sexual abuse” means any act committed by the defendant against the plaintiff which occurred when the plaintiff was under eighteen years of age and which would have been a violation of chapter 12.1-20 or 12.1-27.2.”

a. This section became effective August 1, 2011.

b. I searched and cannot find a case interp’ing this new law in ND yet, but the legislative history would indicate this applies ONLY vs perp. See, 2011 N.D. ALS 231, 2011 N.D. Laws 231, 2011 N.D. Ch. 231, 2011 N.D. HB 1456.

  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-18 (1) An action for libel, slander, assault, battery, or false imprisonment. (Pre 2011 SOL vs perp, but do not think this applies anymore to claims as was only assault battery, all cases found under it were vs perp only and pre 2011 statute).

a. But this is also the statute for malpractice – 2 year SOL – so if negligent hiring is found too be malpractice under ND law then the 2 year SOL would apply.

  1. N.D. Cent. Code, § 28-01-16 (5) An action for criminal conversation or for any other injury to the person or rights of another not arising upon contract, when not otherwise expressly provided. (aka, Ordinary negligence which is not malpractice).

a. The general period of limitation for an action for negligent conduct is six years. Lang v. Barrios, 472 N.W.2d 464 (N.D. 1991).

b. School districts are within the terms of the statute of limitations and it runs not only for but against them. Rosedale Sch. Dist. v. Towner County, 56 N.D. 41, 216 N.W. 212 (N.D. 1927).

c. Because a financial planning business is not an occupation that requires the specialized knowledge, long and intensive preparation in skills, and scholarly principles underlying such skills typically associated only with professions, the defendant’s business was one to which the six-year statute of limitations applied, rather than the two-year professional malpractice statute. Kuntz v. Muehler, 1999 ND 215, 603 N.W.2d 43 (1999).

d. Hulne v. International Harvester Co., 322 N.W.2d 474, 1982 N.D. LEXIS 365 (N.D. 1982) (An administrator’s survival action was not barred by a one-year statute of limitations because the action was based on the tort theories of negligence and strict liability and the action was subject to a six-year statute of limitations.)

e. Can’t find sex abuse negligence cases under this statute either though…


  1. Majority, yes, 18.

a. N.D. Cent. Code, § 28-01-25 (1) (If a person who is entitled to bring an action other than for the recovery of real property, or for a penalty or forfeiture, or against a sheriff or other officer for an escape is: 1. Under the age of eighteen years… at the time the claim for relief accrues, the time of such disability is not a part of the time limited for the commencement of the action. However, the period within which the action must be brought cannot be extended more than five years by any such disability except infancy, nor can it be extended in any case longer than one year after the disability ceases. In cases alleging professional malpractice, the extension of the limitation due to infancy is…

i. Dunford v. Tryhus, 776 N.W.2d 539 (N.D. 2009)( when construing §28-01-25 “not more than one year” means nineteenth birthday).

  1. Discovery, yes narrow

a. Dunford v. Tryhus, 776 N.W.2d 539, 542 (N.D. 2009) (“issue is when [plaintiff] knew or should have known of the injury he suffered. When [plaintiff] knew or should have known is an objective question, focusing on whether he has been apprised of facts which would place a reasonable person on notice that a potential claim exists”);

b. Peterson v. Huso, 552 N.W.2d 83, 84 (N.D. 1996) (sexual-abuse victim with repressed memory of abuse generally has two years from time of “discovery” to begin an action for sexual assault and battery) (case decided under N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-18 (1) (assault, battery, or false imprisonment).

Current Criminal SOL in a nutshell

3 years from reporting to law enforcement. (or +7 years from victim’s age 15, or + 7 years from offense for victims age 15-18, if crime is reported within that period).

N.D. Cent. Code, § 29-04-03.1 (“A prosecution for violation of sections 12.1-20-03 through 12.1-20-08 or of section 12.1-20-11 if the victim was under eighteen years of age at the time the offense was committed must be commenced in the proper court within seven years after the commission of the offense or, if the victim failed to report the offense within this limitation period, within three years after the offense was reported to law enforcement authorities.”)

12.1-20-03. Gross sexual imposition — Penalty.

12.1-20-03.1. Continuous sexual abuse of a child.

12.1-20-04. Sexual imposition.

12.1-20-05. Corruption or solicitation of minors.

12.1-20-05.1. Luring minors by computer or other electronic means.

12.1-20-06. Sexual abuse of wards.

12.1-20-06.1. Sexual exploitation by therapist — Definitions — Penalty.

12.1-20-07. Sexual assault.

12.1-20-08. Fornication.

12.1-20-11. Incest.

N.D. Cent. Code, § 29-04-03.2. Statute of limitations as to child victim. (“ If the victim of a violation of chapter 12.1-20 is under the age of fifteen, the applicable period of limitation, if any, does not begin to run until the victim has reached the age of fifteen.”)

REMOVAL/Addition of the “from reporting to law enforcement” provision was enacted in 1993. Previous SOL was + 7 years. See, 1993 N.D. HB 1349, 1993 N.D. ALS 331, 1993 N.D. Laws 331, 1993 N.D. Ch. 331, 1993 N.D. HB 1349

1993 N.D. HB 1349, 1993 N.D. ALS 331, 1993 N.D. Laws 331, 1993 N.D. Ch. 331, 1993 N.D. HB 1349, Approved by the Governor April 20, 1993

(“29-04-03.1. Prosecution for sexual abuse of minors [D> to be commenced within seven years OR, IF THE VICTIM FAILED TO REPORT THE OFFENSE WITHIN THIS LIMITATION PERIOD, WITHIN THREE YEARS AFTER THE OFFENSE WAS REPORTED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES <A] data-preserve-html-node="true" .

The 1985 enactment created a specific, separate time limit for prosecuting a charge of sexual abuse of a child. State v. Thill, 468 N.W.2d 643, 1991 N.D. LEXIS 71 (N.D. 1991) (+7 year SOL enacted in 1985)

Age of Majority: 18. See, N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 14-10-01.
Age of Consent: 15 or 18, depending on the act. See, N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-20-03.1.

Age of Marriage with Parental Consent: 16.
Age of Marriage without Parental Consent: 18.
See, N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 14-03-02

Medical Neglect Statute


A decision that services are required may not be made when the suspected child abuse or neglect arises solely out of conduct involving the legitimate practice of religious beliefs by a parent or guardian.

North Dakota Century Code §50-25.1-05.1(2)



Religous Liberty Statute

Religious liberty statute that could put children at risk

No law as of January 2017