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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78860 Find in a Library
Title: Statute of Limitations in a Civil RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Suit for Treble Damages (From Techniques in the Investigation and Prosecution of Organized Crime - Materials on RICO, P 974-1095, 1980, G. Robert Blakey, ed. - See NCJ-78839)
Author(s): M S Smith; M Flanagan; B E Pastuszenski
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 122
Document: PDF
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The issue of what statute of limitations should be applied to a treble-damages civil suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is discussed.
Abstract: RICO does not contain a statute of limitations provision. Since the civil provisions of RICO evolved from antitrust law, the history of litigation in civil antitrust suits provides a source for analyzing many of the issues likely to arise in future civil treble-damage RICO suits. The statute of limitations issue is examined in this context. After an introduction to the relevant legislative history of the limitations issue, the general strategy to be used in bringing a treble-damage RICO suit is outlined. The issue of the statute of limitations is then detailed, and a hypothetical civil suit in which the statute of limitations issue is resolved is presented. While it is concluded that the ideal answer to the legal chaos permeating the statute of limitations issue is congressional action, this is deemed unlikely for pragmatic political reasons. Currently, the most practical approach to the issue is for the plaintiff to accept the application of State law regarding statutes of limitations and aim for the most reasonable result. At a minimum, this means the plaintiff considering a RICO suit will have to master the law on statutes of limitation in every State in which the suit could be brought. Should the plaintiff be confined to a State that will apply a penalty provision that will bar the action, the plaintiff must argue Federal policy to persuade the court to invoke its discretionary power in applying a more equitable statute of limitations. Appended is a chart of State law and the characterization approach of the Federal circuit courts. A total of 256 footnotes are listed. For additional material on RICO, see NCJ 78839. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Civil proceedings; Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act; Statute of limitations
Note: Available in microfiche from NCJRS as NCJ-78839
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