Does a Statute of Limitations Apply to an Ultra Vires Act by a Municipal Corporation?
Yes, a statute of limitation can apply to an ultra vires act taken by a municipal corporation. The particular time period will depend on all the facts involved and the type of claim made. It is also possible that governmental immunity may apply. Please see the following MI statute:
691.1410 Claims against state, political subdivision, or municipal
Sec. 10. (1) Claims against the state authorized under this act
shall be brought in the manner provided in sections 6401 to 6475
of the revised judicature act of 1961, Act No. 236 of the Public
Acts of 1961, being sections 600.6401 to 600.6475 of the Michigan
Compiled Laws, and against any political subdivision or municipal
corporation by civil action in any court having jurisdiction.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this act, any claim that is
authorized under this act shall be subject to the revised judicature act
of 1961, Act No. 236 of the Public Acts of 1961, being sections 600.101
to 600.9947 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
600.5801 Limitation on actions; time periods; defendant claiming title
under deed, court-ordered sale, tax deed, or will; other cases.
Sec. 5801. No person may bring or maintain any action for the recovery
or possession of any lands or make any entry upon any lands unless, after
the claim or right to make the entry first accrued to himself or to
someone through whom he claims, he commences the action or makes the
entry within the periods of time prescribed by this section. (1) When the
defendant claims title to the land in question by or through some deed
made upon the sale of the premises by an executor, administrator,
guardian, or testamentary trustee; or by a sheriff or other proper
ministerial officer under the order, judgment, process, or decree of a
court or legal tribunal of competent jurisdiction within this state, or
by a sheriff upon a mortgage foreclosure sale the period of limitation is
(2) When the defendant claims title under some deed made by an officer
of this state or of the United States who is authorized to make deeds
upon the sale of lands for taxes assessed and levied within this state the
period of limitation is 10 years.
(3) When the defendant claims title through a devise in any will,
the period of limitation is 15 years after the probate of the will
in this state.
(4) In all other cases under this section, the period of limitation is
691.1407 Immunity from tort liability; intentional torts; immunity of
judge, legislator, official, and guardian ad litem; definitions.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this act, a governmental agency is
immune from tort liability if the governmental agency is engaged in the
exercise or discharge of a governmental function. Except as otherwise
provided in this act, this act does not modify or restrict the immunity of
the state from tort liability as it existed before July 1, 1965, which
immunity is affirmed.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, and without regard to
the discretionary or ministerial nature of the conduct in question, each
officer and employee of a governmental agency, each volunteer acting on
behalf of a governmental agency, and each member of a board, council,
commission, or statutorily created task force of a governmental agency is
immune from tort liability for an injury to a person or damage to
property caused by the officer, employee, or member while in the course of
employment or service or caused by the volunteer while acting on behalf
of a governmental agency if all of the following are met:
(a) The officer, employee, member, or volunteer is acting or reasonably
believes he or she is acting within the scope of his or her authority.
(b) The governmental agency is engaged in the exercise or discharge of
a governmental function.
(c) The officer's, employee's, member's, or volunteer's conduct
does not amount to gross negligence that is the proximate cause of
the injury or damage.
(3) Subsection (2) does not alter the law of intentional torts as
it existed before July 7, 1986.
(4) This act does not grant immunity to a governmental agency or an
employee or agent of a governmental agency with respect to providing
medical care or treatment to a patient, except medical care or treatment
provided to a patient in a hospital owned or operated by the department of
community health or a hospital owned or operated by the department of
corrections and except care or treatment provided by an uncompensated
search and rescue operation medical assistant or tactical operation
(5) A judge, a legislator, and the elective or highest appointive
executive official of all levels of government are immune from tort
liability for injuries to persons or damages to property if he or she is
acting within the scope of his or her judicial, legislative, or executive
(6) A guardian ad litem is immune from civil liability for an injury to
a person or damage to property if he or she is acting within the scope of
his or her authority as guardian ad litem. This subsection applies to
actions filed before, on, or after May 1, 1996.
(7) As used in this section:
(a) "Gross negligence" means conduct so reckless as to demonstrate
a substantial lack of concern for whether an injury results.
(b) "Search and rescue operation" means an action by a governmental
agency to search for, rescue, or recover victims of a natural or manmade
disaster, accident, or emergency on land or water.
(c) "Search and rescue operation medical assistant" means an individual
licensed to practice 1 or more of the occupations listed in subdivision
(e), acting within the scope of the license, and assisting a governmental
agency in a search and rescue operation.
(d) "Tactical operation" means a coordinated, planned action by a
special operations, weapons, or response team of a law enforcement
agency that is 1 of the following:
(i) Taken to deal with imminent violence, a riot, an act of terrorism,
or a similar civic emergency.
(ii) The entry into a building, area, watercraft, aircraft, land
vehicle, or body of water to seize evidence, or to arrest an individual
for a felony, under the authority of a warrant issued by a court.
(iii) Training for the team.
(e) "Tactical operation medical assistant" means an individual
licensed to practice 1 or more of the following, acting within the
scope of the license, and assisting law enforcement officers while
they are engaged in a tactical operation:
(i) Medicine, osteopathic medicine and surgery, or as a registered
professional nurse, under article 15 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368,
MCL 333.16101 to 333.18838.
(ii) As an emergency medical technician, emergency medical technician
specialist, or paramedic under part 209 of the public health code,
1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20901 to 333.20979.
Sec. 1. As used in this act:
(a) "Municipal corporation" means a city, village, or township or a
combination of 2 or more of these when acting jointly.
(b) "Political subdivision" means a municipal corporation, county,
county road commission, school district, community college district, port
district, metropolitan district, or transportation authority or a
combination of 2 or more of these when acting jointly; a district or
authority authorized by law or formed by 1 or more political
subdivisions; or an agency, department, court, board, or council of a
(c) "State" means the state of Michigan and its agencies, departments,
commissions, courts, boards, councils, and statutorily created task
forces and includes every public university and college of the state,
whether established as a constitutional corporation or otherwise.
(d) "Governmental agency" means the state or a political subdivision.
(e) "Highway" means a public highway, road, or street that is open for
public travel and includes bridges, sidewalks, trailways, crosswalks, and
culverts on the highway. The term highway does not include alleys,
trees, and utility poles.
(f) "Governmental function" is an activity that is expressly or
impliedly mandated or authorized by constitution, statute, local charter
or ordinance, or other law. Governmental function includes an activity,
as directed or assigned by his or her public employer for the purpose of
public safety, performed on public or private property by a sworn law
enforcement officer within the scope of the law enforcement officer's
(g) "Township" includes charter township.
(h) "Volunteer" means an individual who is specifically designated as a
volunteer and who is acting solely on behalf of a governmental agency.