LEGAL PERSPECTIVE: Statue-barred rights by Dr AbdelGadir Warsama, Legal Counsel

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Dr AbdelGadir Warsama, Legal Counsel

It is very important for all to know that they may lose their right if they don’t claim on time. In other words, the Statute of Limitation have caused title to pass from one to another or at least barred recovery. He who uses your land or lives rent free, may well become the owner within certain time. Law provides for limitation period to be observed. This constitutes a bar for the right which should be claimed within certain time, otherwise it will simply go away. The message here is to encourage all to look for their rights, otherwise, could be taken as waiver of such right in favor of the other party, the opponent. But, the law recognizes certain actions as acknowledgement of rights irrespective of the limitation period. Acknowledgement constitutes fresh accrual of rights of action on acknowledgement or payment being made.

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As example, a right of action to accrue, if the person in possession acknowledges the right of the other person to the right of action. Or, the person in possession or the person liable for the mortgage debt makes any payment in respect of the mortgage whether the principal or interest. In such cases, the right shall be deemed to have accrued on and not before the date of the acknowledgement or payment. In case of debt, the person liable or accountable acknowledges the claim or makes payments, the right shall be deemed to have accrued on, provided that payment or part or interest due at any time shall not exceed the period for claiming the reminder due and payment of interest shall be treated as payment in respect of the principal debt.

In most cases, acknowledgement shall be in writing and signed by the person making it. It May be made to the agent of the person whose title is being acknowledged and by the agent of the person by whom acknowledgement is required to be made. The letter must acknowledge the claim and not merely that there might be a claim, however, not necessary that the amount of the debt be specified. There may be acknowledgement of general indebtedness, provided the amount of the debt can be ascertained by evidence. However, generally, Courts will not allow an interrogatory to be served which would force the defendant, to acknowledge a statue-barred debt. Be careful.

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