Nebraska Revised Statute 25-206

Chapter 25


Actions on oral contracts or statutory liabilities.

An action upon a contract, not in writing, expressed or implied, or an action upon a liability created by statute, other than a forfeiture or penalty, can only be brought within four years.


  • R.S.1867, Code § 11, p. 395;
  • R.S.1913, § 7568;
  • C.S.1922, § 8511;
  • C.S.1929, § 20-206;
  • R.S.1943, § 25-206.


  • 1. When cause of action accrues

  • 2. When statute is applicable

  • 3. When statute is not applicable

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • 1. When cause of action accrues

  • Plaintiff's cause of action on oral contract for the sale of grain, to be paid for on demand, accrued when demand could have been made and not when demand was actually made and was, therefor, barred by this section. Stock v. Meissner, 209 Neb. 636, 309 N.W.2d 86 (1981).

  • Action to recover payments made by county for maintenance of insane patient in state hospital is barred after four years. County of Adams v. Ernst, 158 Neb. 15, 62 N.W.2d 110 (1954).

  • Claim for reimbursement from estate of recipient of old age assistance did not accrue until death of recipient. Boone County Old Age Assistance Board v. Myhre, 149 Neb. 669, 32 N.W.2d 262 (1948).

  • Where services are rendered under a contract of employment which does not fix the term of service or the time of payment, the statute does not commence to run until the employee's services are terminated. In re Baker's Estate, 144 Neb. 797, 14 N.W.2d 585 (1944).

  • Under oral contract of hire terminated by mutual agreement, and superseded by another written contract between the same parties, cause of action for payment of salary under the first contract accrues immediately upon termination. Price v. Platte Valley Public Power & Irr. Dist., 139 Neb. 787, 298 N.W. 746 (1941).

  • The statute of limitations does not begin to run against the claim of an adult child for services continually performed under an oral contract for parents during their lives, until the contract is terminated by their death. In re Estate of Skade, 135 Neb. 712, 283 N.W. 851 (1939).

  • Where action is brought to recover on implied obligation to repay money borrowed on void warrants, statute of limitations begins to run on date of last payment on the warrant. Nebraska State Bank Liquidation Assn. v. Village of Burton, 134 Neb. 623, 279 N.W. 319 (1938).

  • Liability of a bank director for loss sustained on excess loan is barred four years after the excessive loan is made. Department of Banking v. McMullen, 134 Neb. 338, 278 N.W. 551 (1938).

  • Liability of county judge as recipient of distributive share of absent devisee, which he failed to turn over to his successor in office or to said devisee, is not a liability created by statute but an original and primary action on his bond and may be brought within ten years after cause of action accrued. Ericsson v. Streitz, 132 Neb. 692, 273 N.W. 17 (1937).

  • Statute runs from the date of an account stated, and not from incurring of original debt. In re Estate of Black, 125 Neb. 75, 249 N.W. 84 (1933).

  • Time of commencing action on contract for transportation of goods stated. Denman v. Chicago, B. & Q. R. R. Co., 52 Neb. 140, 71 N.W. 967 (1897).

  • Action on commission account was barred four years from last item. In re Automatic Equipment Mfg. Co., 103 F.Supp. 427 (D. Neb. 1952).

  • 2. When statute is applicable

  • An action for an accounting of rents and profits of land is limited to four years. In re Estate of Widger, 235 Neb. 179, 454 N.W.2d 493 (1990).

  • Excluding September 5, 1969, the last day on which work was done, the last day of the four-year period of limitations was September 5, 1973. George P. Rose Sodding & Grading Co. v. Dennis, 195 Neb. 221, 237 N.W.2d 418 (1976).

  • Claim for services rendered was not barred until four years after death of promisor. Houser v. Houser, 178 Neb. 401, 133 N.W.2d 618 (1965).

  • This section applies to action in mandamus to place fireman on pension rolls of city. State ex rel. McIlvain v. City of Falls City, 177 Neb. 677, 131 N.W.2d 93 (1964).

  • This section was applicable to action by city to recover amount paid on void contract. Arthur v. Trindel, 168 Neb. 429, 96 N.W.2d 208 (1959).

  • Statute of limitations applies to claims by one county against another for maintenance of an incompetent person in a state hospital. County of Kearney v. County of Buffalo, 167 Neb. 117, 91 N.W.2d 304 (1958).

  • Action for accounting of the rents and profits of land is limited to four years. Beacom v. Daley, 164 Neb. 120, 81 N.W.2d 907 (1957).

  • Contract partly written and partly oral falls under this section. Grant v. Williams, 158 Neb. 107, 62 N.W.2d 532 (1954).

  • Action against city to recover pension is based on liability created by statute and is barred if not brought within four years of accrual of action. Barney v. City of Lincoln, 144 Neb. 537, 13 N.W.2d 870 (1944).

  • Statute applies to claims against counties. Bryant v. Cedar County, 122 Neb. 853, 241 N.W. 538 (1932).

  • Liability of stockholder, under Article XII, section 4, Constitution of Nebraska, is not a penalty barred in one year, but is contractual and governed by this section. Bourne v. Baer, 107 Neb. 255, 185 N.W. 408 (1921).

  • Action to recover on implied assumpsit is barred in four years. O'Neill v. City of So. Omaha, 102 Neb. 836, 170 N.W. 174 (1918).

  • Where more than four years intervenes between execution sale and action to set it aside, the action is barred. Best v. Zutavern, 53 Neb. 604, 74 N.W. 64 (1898).

  • Section applies to action for money received by agent for principal. Arnett v. Zinn, 20 Neb. 591, 31 N.W. 240 (1886).

  • Action for money had and received must be brought within four years from receipt of the money. Murphy v. Omaha, 1 Neb. Unof. 488, 95 N.W. 680 (1901).

  • Suit against employer to enforce agreement made in 1893 to deliver corporate stock was barred by this and other statutes of limitation in view of lapse of time. Reed v. Fairmont Creamery Co., 37 F.2d 332 (8th Cir. 1929).

  • 3. When statute is not applicable

  • Right of retainer against heir is not affected by lapse of time, even though action upon the debt is barred by statute of limitations. Fischer v. Wilhelm, 139 Neb. 583, 298 N.W. 126 (1941), opinion partially vacated on rehearing, 140 Neb. 448, 300 N.W. 350 (1941).

  • Oral agreement to compensate one for past services, not performed as gratuity and not barred by statute, as well as for future services, out of promisor's estate by testamentary provision, is an independent contract to which statute requiring new promise to be in writing does not apply, where promisee performs agreement. Weideman v. Peterson's Estate, 129 Neb. 74, 261 N.W. 150 (1935).

  • Lien of special assessments is not barred by this section. Lincoln St. Ry. Co. v. City of Lincoln, 61 Neb. 109, 84 N.W. 802 (1901).

  • Section does not apply to recover delinquent personal taxes collected by distress. Price v. Lancaster County, 18 Neb. 199, 24 N.W. 705 (1885).

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • The time limitations provided for in this section and section 25-218 do not infringe upon the Department of Labor's ability to collect an overpayment by setoff under section 48-665. McCoy v. Albin, 298 Neb. 297, 903 N.W.2d 902 (2017).

  • Section 76-701 et seq., R.R.S.1943, provides no specific statute of limitations; therefore the ten-year period in section 25-202, R.R.S.1943, applies in inverse condemnation proceedings. Krambeck v. City of Gretna, 198 Neb. 608, 254 N.W.2d 691 (1977).

  • In absence of agreement, or directions by debtor, a credit for work and labor may be applied by creditor in such manner as to interrupt running of statute of limitations. Heineman v. Thimgan, 136 Neb. 357, 285 N.W. 920 (1939).

  • Where the defense raised is statute of limitations, the issue should be presented to the jury for determination. Nocita v. Guiliano, 130 Neb. 241, 264 N.W. 672 (1936).

  • Statute of limitations, not being pleaded, will not be considered. State ex rel. Davis v. Banking House of A. Castetter, 118 Neb. 231, 224 N.W. 21 (1929).

  • The 4-year statute of limitations for oral contracts provided in this section applies where, although there is a written contract between the parties, parol evidence is necessary in order to establish the terms of the agreement; in other words, the statute of limitations in this section, rather than that provided by section 25-205, applies where a contract is partly oral and partly written. Aurora Technology v. Labedz, 30 Neb. App. 33, 964 N.W.2d 474 (2021).

  • The unilateral crediting of defendant's debt without defendant's consent or knowledge was not a voluntary acknowledgment of the debt sufficient to toll the statute of limitations. Hejco, Inc. v. Arnold, 1 Neb. App. 44, 487 N.W.2d 573 (1992).

  • Section 25-219 was applicable to federal civil rights claim of former guidance counselor in action against school district on allegations dismissal was due to his race and his exercise of First Amendment rights. Chambers v. Omaha Public School Dist., 536 F.2d 222 (8th Cir. 1976).