Public Entities Can Contractually Waive Their Right to Invoke the Doctrine of Nullum Tempus in Pennsylvania

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The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, however, in a case of first impression, recently held that the nullum tempus doctrine can be waived by a governmental entity, if that governmental entity agrees to contract language that provides the time period that "any applicable statute of limitations shall commence to run."

Nullum tempus occurrit regi, sometimes abbreviated nullum tempus, is a Latin phrase that means "no time runs against the king." Today, nullum tempus is a common-law doctrine holding that the statute of limitations does not apply to governmental entities. As a result, governmental entities may initiate certain causes of actions that would be time-barred, if brought by an individual or private company.

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