We are asked to decide when the statute of limitations
The plaintiff retained the defendant to file a personal bankruptcy in 1970. The original petition was filed in the bankruptcy court on March 17, 1971, and amended on April 19, 1971. Neither petition scheduled a debt owed by the plaintiff to the Michigan Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. The plaintiff attempted several times to have the defendant schedule this debt, including the filing of a request for investigation with the State Bar Grievance Board on November 22, 1971. The plaintiff received his discharge in bankruptcy on September 25, 1972, but it did not include the debt to the Michigan Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. This suit was filed December 26, 1973.
Both parties agree that the applicable statute of limitations is two years
"[A]n action based on malpractice by a state licensed person must be brought within two years of the time
Applying this standard, the circuit court held the last date of service to be April 19, 1971 (when the bankruptcy petition was amended) and the date of the plaintiff's knowledge of the asserted malpractice to be November 22, 1971 (the date of filing the request for investigation with the State Bar Grievance Board). Consequently, it concluded the two years had expired.
The Court of Appeals concluded that when the negligence of an attorney consists of delay or inaction,
We concur in the result reached by the Court of Appeals. We hold that the statute of limitations starts to run at the time the plaintiff was discharged in bankruptcy. Until then, the defendant could have petitioned the bankruptcy court to amend the petition, and the plaintiff would not have had a claim for malpractice.
COLEMAN, C.J., and KAVANAGH, WILLIAMS, LEVIN, FITZGERALD, RYAN, and BLAIR MOODY, JR., JJ., concurred.