The statutes of limitation (in the case at hand the provision set forth in article 2943, paragraph four of the Italian Civil Code) may be interrupted by a notice or a written request to cure which expresses the unequivocal intention that the agreed obligation be performed by the counterpart (cfr. Supreme Court in its judgment no. 10954 dated May 7, 2013).
The issue addressed by the Supreme Court was whether a letter - which called on the defendant (with a view to concluding the matter amicably) to execute the final sale agreement in accordance with a preliminary agreement entered into between the parties - interrupted the statute of limitations.
In the opinion of the Court, the trial judge had correctly assessed the plaintiff’s general request of an amicable settlement not to be an unequivocal expression of the intent that the obligation in question be performed.
The Supreme Court confirmed, therefore, the consolidated body of case law on this matter which has held that the statute of limitations is interrupted only when a specific claim is made and a notice to cure or a demand is made which demonstrates the unequivocal intention to enforce the right against the person who must perform the agreed obligation, thus putting the latter on notice (cfr., among orhers, Italian Supreme Court judgment no. 24656/2010)
This post is also available in: Italian