RICO is a statute, originally developed to thwart organized crime. When read broadly, the statute, however, has been applied to non-organized crime activities. Thus, courts have now started applying four substantive requirements for use of the RICO statute: (1) requiring that the plaintiff must allege that the defendant has connection to organized crime, (2) limiting standing to a particular type of injury, (3) requiring the plaintiff to allege an enterprise distinct from the pattern of racketeering or from the defendant, and (4) permitting only civil RICO claims in instances where the defendant has been previously convicted of the predicate acts alleged in the civil complaint. Along with these requirements, a second area of confusion, which has arisen from the federal RICO statute is the lack of an express statute of limitations. This Note argues that instead of using the method of applying the statute of limitations for an analogous cause of action (the Supreme Court's general method when no express statute of limitations is offered), Congress should step in and create an express statute of limitations for the civil RICO statute. Utilizing the general Supreme Court method for determining the statute of limitations is against the purpose and history of the civil RICO statute. In light of the potential unfairness with the current limitations scheme and the federal nature of the RICO statute, it makes sense for Congress to enact an express limitations scheme, creating predictability in RICO cases.
Michael J. Lane,
Civil RICO: A Call for a Uniform Statute of Limitations,
13 Fordham Urb. L.J. 205
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol13/iss1/7