ORS 12.080
Action on certain contracts or liabilities


An action upon a contract or liability, express or implied, excepting those mentioned in ORS 12.070 (Action on judgment, decree or sealed instrument), 12.110 (Actions for certain injuries to person not arising on contract) and 12.135 (Action for damages from construction, alteration or repair of improvement to real property) and except as otherwise provided in ORS 72.7250 (Statute of limitations in contracts for sale);


An action upon a liability created by statute, other than a penalty or forfeiture, excepting those mentioned in ORS 12.110 (Actions for certain injuries to person not arising on contract);


An action for waste or trespass upon or for interference with or injury to any interest of another in real property, excepting those mentioned in ORS 12.050 (Action to recover real property), 12.060 (Suit or action on land contracts), 12.135 (Action for damages from construction, alteration or repair of improvement to real property), 12.137 (Action for loss of or damage to property arising from nuclear incident) and 273.241 (Action to recover damages for unlawful removal of material); or


An action for taking, detaining or injuring personal property, including an action for the specific recovery thereof, excepting an action mentioned in ORS 12.137 (Action for loss of or damage to property arising from nuclear incident);
shall be commenced within six years. [Amended by 1957 c.374 §3; 1961 c.726 §396; 1973 c.363 §1; 1983 c.437 §2; 1987 c.705 §3; 1991 c.968 §2]

Source: Section 12.080 — Action on certain contracts or liabilities, https://www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/bills_laws/ors/ors012.­html.

Notes of Decisions

In general

Where legally blind plaintiff brought cause of action two years after discovering conversion of belongings but nine years after conversion took place, plaintiff commenced action in timely manner under this section because discovery rule, which provides that cause of action accrues when plaintiff obtained or reasonably should have obtained knowledge of tort, applies to this section. Rice v. Rabb, 354 Or 721, 320 P3d 554 (2014)

This section applies to actions for interference with or injury to “interest” in real property, not to actions for damage to property itself, which are subject to two-year limitation period under ORS 12.110 and not six-year limitation period under this section. Goodwin v. Kingsmen Plastering, Inc., 359 Or 694, 375 P3d 463 (2016)

Action upon a contract or liability, express or implied

An action against an insurer under an uninsured motorist clause in the policy is governed by the contract provision of this section. Turlay v. Farmers Ins. Exch., 259 Or 612, 488 P2d 406 (1971)

An action for indemnity is based upon an implied contract and is governed by this section. Owings v. Rose, 262 Or 247, 497 P2d 1183 (1972)

An action in federal court for fraud or misrepresentation under S.E.C. Rule 10b-5 is not governed by this section. Hoffert v. E.F. Hinkle & Co., Inc., 56 FRD 395 (1972)

This section and not [former] ORS 76.1110, applies to contracts for the payment of wages when the original obligor on such contract has sold the assets of his business to another. State ex rel Nilsen v. Ben Jacques Chev. Buick, Inc., 16 Or App 552, 520 P2d 366 (1974)

The tort action against a Kansas airplane manufacturer on account of a Washington accident was not barred where filed three months after the accident. Forsyth v. Cessna Aircraft Co., 520 F2d 608 (1975)

An action to recover from a surety or a supersedeas bond, when based on the undertaking rather than on a judgment, is barred after six years. Friedman v. Doak, 276 Or 1001, 557 P2d 237 (1976)

Legislature intended six year statute of limitations to apply to all contracts not specifically excepted, and thus this section applied to action for breach of express warranty against seller of apartments and glass company, which contracted to repair defective windows. Portland Hous. Auth. v. Ash Nat’l, 36 Or App 391, 584 P2d 776 (1978)

Where gravamen of plaintiff’s complaint was failure of defendant to abide by its express contractual duty to alleviate unsatisfactory conditions as might appear during 2-year guarantee period, complaint sounded in contract and limitation period of this section governed. Amfac Foods v. Fred Snyder Roofing, 43 Or App 107, 602 P2d 321 (1979), Sup Ct review denied

Whether action for violation of agreement is tort or contract claim depends on whether agreement refers only to general standard of care applicable or sets forth particular standards to be followed. Securities-Intermountain v. Sunset Fuel, 289 Or 243, 611 P2d 1158 (1980); Dauven v. St. Vincent Hospital, 130 Or App 584, 883 P2d 241 (1994)

Actions for federal civil rights violations are subject to limitation applicable to liability created by statute, not to limitation applicable to tort actions. Clark v. Musick, 623 F2d 89 (1981); Plummer v. Western International Hotels, 656 F2d 502 (1981)

Action for deprivation of civil rights alleging harassment by local government entities was controlled by two-year statute of limitations of Tort Claims Act. Kosikowski v. Bourne, 659 F2d 105 (1981)

Limitation period of this section governs actions for damages by purchaser against builder-seller of house for amounts necessary to remedy defects in construction of house. Beveridge v. King, 292 Or 771, 643 P2d 332 (1982)

In action for employment discrimination under 42 U.S.C. 1981, controlling limitation period was that of this section, not ORS 12.110. Wrighten v. Metropolitan Hospitals, Inc., 726 F2d 1346 (1984)

Where action was in contract, although claimed breach sounded in fraud or deceit, that is, in tort, action was timely where filed two and one-half years after cause of action was discovered. Erickson Hardwood Co. v. North Pacific Lumber, 70 Or App 557, 690 P2d 1071 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

In action by union to compel arbitration of grievance, six-month limitation period under National Labor Relations Act applies, rather than six year period under this section. Millmen’s Union Local No. 1120 v. Pay Less Drug, 589 F Supp 675 (1984)

Where relationship is between contracting parties and claim alleges negligent performance of contract, action must be brought as contract claim unless independent standard of care is established. Marinelli v. Ford Motor Co., 72 Or App 268, 696 P2d 1 (1985), Sup Ct review denied; Georgetown Realty v. The Home Insurance Company, 313 Or 97, 831 P2d 7 (1992)

Because [former] ORS 237.075 creates contract between public employees and state, this section provides statute of limitations for alleged violations of that contract. Alderson v. State of Oregon, 105 Or App 574, 806 P2d 142 (1991)

Where account or account stated claim involves underlying sale of goods, UCC 4-year statute of limitations for contract claims under ORS 72.7250 applies rather than 6-year period of this statute. Moorman Manufacturing Co. v. Hall, 113 Or App 30, 830 P2d 606 (1992), Sup Ct review denied

Statute of limitations for breach of fiduciary duty depends on whether basis of claim is contractual or non-contractual. Assn. of Unit Owners v. Far West Federal Bank, 120 Or App 125, 852 P2d 218 (1993)

Action for abatement of purchase price and restitution of monies paid on sales agreement was equitable claim not subject to statute of limitations. Assn. of Unit Owners v. Far West Federal Bank, 120 Or App 125, 852 P2d 218 (1993)

Complaint seeking royalties for product made by defendant using plaintiff’s idea was action for breach of contract, not tort of misappropriation of ideas. Jaqua v. Nike, Inc., 125 Or App 294, 865 P2d 442 (1993)

Limitation period established by this section is default period, applicable absent different limitation period specified by contract. Reedsport School District No. 105 v. Gulf Insurance Co., 210 Or App 679, 152 P3d 988 (2007)

Exception to duration of statute of limitations for construction defect claims is limited to actions against professionals that are listed in provision that sets statute of limitations for those claims. Waxman v. Waxman & Associates, Inc., 224 Or App 499, 198 P3d 445 (2008)

Injury to interest of another in real property

Financial injury incurred by plaintiffs because they purchased residence in reliance on defendant’s inspection which failed to disclose the existence of dry rot was not an injury to property. Morrison v. Ardee Pest Control, 62 Or App 506, 661 P2d 576 (1983)

In action for damages on alleged oral contract to perform certain architectural services, allegations of injuries were those to “any interest of another in real property” and this section was applicable period of limitation. Taylor v. Settecase, 69 Or App 222, 685 P2d 470 (1984)

Action against defendant builder alleging breach of implied obligation to perform construction in workmanlike manner is action for injury to interest in real property. Sutter v. Bingham, 81 Or App 16, 724 P2d 829 (1986)

Plaintiffs’ fraud claim, asserting that defendant misrepresented payments on promissory note to property in central Oregon and circumstances surrounding reconveyance of trust deed, qualified as action for “interference with or injury to any interest of another in real property” provision of this section and was therefore subject to six-year limitation. Willms v. AmeriTitle, Inc., 314 Or App 687, 499 P3d 79 (2021)

Actions as to personalty

Where lessor damaged own property, resulting economic loss to lessee was not injury to personal property. Port of Portland v. Brady-Hamilton, 62 Or App 92, 659 P2d 995 (1983)

When statute commences to run

Cause of action for breach of a divorce property settlement agreement to maintain life insurance did not accrue until the death of obligor. Carothers v. Carothers, 260 Or 99, 488 P2d 1185 (1971)

Where plaintiff’s complaint alleges facts sufficient to constitute fraudulent concealment of the cause of action the statute is tolled until discovery or reasonable opportunity of discovery of the fact. Chaney v. Fields Chev. Co., 264 Or 21, 503 P2d 1239 (1972)

Note payable “on demand after date” becomes due and payable without demand on the day after its date; statute of limitations begins to run from that day. Culver v. Andres, 26 Or App 809, 554 P2d 541 (1976)

A promissory note payable “on demand” is due immediately without an actual demand, and the statute of limitations commences to run against the note from the date of its execution and delivery. Culver v. Andres, 26 Or App 809, 554 P2d 541 (1976)

This section applied to overcharges of city under water service contract. Aspgren v. City of Columbia City, 34 Or App 991, 581 P2d 536 (1978)

Where goods were damaged during shipment by carrier, and buyer never received bill of lading, buyer was not aware of and could not be bound by clause in bill of lading establishing two year statute of limitations. Lord Electric Co. v. Pacific Intermountain Express, 282 Or 335, 578 P2d 776 (1978)

Action against former owners of abutting property for trespass and nuisance resulting from erosion of earth embankment onto plaintiff’s property was barred because owners had not commenced action within six-year statute of limitations and statute was not tolled on theory that trespass was continuing tort. Denora v. Fischer Eng., 55 Or App 448, 638 P2d 490 (1982)

Where FDIC brought action against former officers and directors of three banks which merged into bank later declared insolvent alleging violation of federal statutes and regulations prohibiting loans to officers and directors, since claim was common law tort claim, three-year statute of limitations applied not six-year contract limitation. FDIC v. Former officers and Dir. of Metro. Bank, 705 F Supp 505 (D. Or. 1987)

Where rent was based on percentage of annual receipts from crops grown and total accounting was due “once all crops for that year have been sold,” plaintiff’s contention that his right to payment did not accrue until crops were sold was supported by language of contract and conduct of parties. Obrist v. Aylett, 99 Or App 99, 781 P2d 381 (1989)

Each annual decision not to promote employee constituted separate alleged breach of employment contract with separate statute of limitations period. Bohm v. Oregon Institute of Technology, 126 Or App 281, 868 P2d 1344 (1994)

Law Review Citations

52 OLR 92 (1972)

Time of commencing actions
When action deemed begun
Limitations of suits generally
Action to recover real property
Suit or action on land contracts
Action on judgment, decree or sealed instrument
Action on certain contracts or liabilities
Action against garnishee
Action on official act or penalty
Actions for certain injuries to person not arising on contract
Action for negligent injury to person or property
Actions based on child abuse
Action based on conduct that constitutes sexual assault of adult or conduct knowingly allowing, permitting or encouraging sexual assault of adult
Action on escape
Action arising under rental agreement
Action for penalty
Action arising out of real estate appraisal activity or appraisal review
Action for damages from construction, alteration or repair of improvement to real property
Action for loss of or damage to property arising from nuclear incident
Actions not otherwise provided for
Suspension of running of statute by absence or concealment
Effect of notice of advance payment on running of period of limitation
Suspension for minors and persons who have disabling mental condition
Disability must exist when right of action accrues
Coexisting disabilities must all be removed
Effect of death on limitations
Effect of attorney death on limitations
Suspension by war as to alien
Suspension by injunction or prohibition of statute
Commencement of new action after involuntary dismissal
Acknowledgment or promise taking contract case out of statute
Effect of payment after obligation becomes due
Actions by state, county or public corporations
Conclusive presumption of validity of governmental subdivision boundary proceedings one year after effective date
Action based on pesticide application
Action against trustee of express trust
Action for death, injury or damage resulting from breast implants
Action against manufacturer of certain pickup trucks
Action based on practice of land surveying
Action against manufacturer of extendable equipment
Definitions for ORS 12.410 to 12.480
Claims based on law of other states
Application of statutes and rules governing conflict of laws
When limitation period of another state not applicable
Claims to which statutes apply
Short title
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