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In general, when we talk about a thing in general, we use the present simple. Today I have found a sentence from a statute which subordinate clause is in the past tense.

"No action is brought by a person to recover any land after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the right of action accrued to the person."

If the subordinate clause is in the present simple:-

"No action is brought by a person to recover any land after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the right of action accrues to the person."

does this sentence have the same meaning as the original sentence? If not, why?

Thank for your help in advance Emotion: smile
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I think the present "accrues" would be understood as having the same meaning.

The simple answer would be that this "absence of action" (NO action is brought) occurs twelve years after the "event" of accrual, making the past tense "accrued" appropriate.

If it reads something like, "When a person wishes to recover land more than twelve years after the right of action accrues etc.," the present tense "accrues" seems more acceptable than in your original example -
although persent perfect ("has accrued") would be more natural.
Hello Avangi, thanks for your explanation, and I also think that it should read like "When a person wishes to recover land more than twelve years after the right of action accrues ...".

I think that, as you have suggested, both "accrues" and "has accrued" are more acceptable, but "has accrued" stresses that accrual is complete first (it has not exactly happened, but an idea of completion).

Thanks Emotion: smile
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Anonymous but "has accrued" stresses that accrual is complete first (it has not exactly happened, but an idea of completion).
I may be wrong, but I consider "to accrue" an event, not a process.

I understand that in banking they use the term a little differently. Interest accrues, incrementally. It goes on and on.

My AmHtg gives definition 3: Law - To become an enforcable or permanent right.

after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the right of action accrued to the person."
This happens all at once - at a single point in time.

You may have to wait for that point in time to come, but there's no such thing (as I understand it) as partial, or incomplete accrual.
This becomes your right in 2000. In 2012, you lose it.
What you get in 2000 is not the land, but the right to sue for the land - to take legal action to "recover" it. You may well lose in court. If you wait til 2013 to file your action, they'll just throw it out.
Hello Avangi,
Avangi after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the right of action accrued to the person."

This happens all at once - at a single point in time. You may have to wait for that point in time to come, but there's no such thing (as I understand it) as partial, or incomplete accrual.

Thanks for the explanation. I so agree to it Emotion: embarrassed

Now I understand that why in some situations especially condition-consequence situations, statute draftmen use the present perfect or past; they want to express that an event ("dependent event") depends on the completion of another event ("independent event").

If the dependant event can immediately follows the independent event, the present perfect tense for the independent event is preferrable, while if the dependent event cannot follow the independent event immediately (i.e. there is a time gap. Eg. "after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the right of action accrued to the person"), the past tense for the independent event is preferrable.

It works for me. [Y]
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AnonymousIf the dependant event can immediately follows the independent event, the present perfect tense for the independent event is preferrable, while if the dependent event cannot follow the independent event immediately (i.e. there is a time gap. Eg. "after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the right of action accrued to the person"), the past tense for the independent event is preferrable.
If I am wrong about this, please correct me. I don't see this as a past tense but a sentence with "accrued" as a past participle being used in an adverbial phrase, which has a passive construction.
dimsumexpress the right of action accrued to the person

I don't see this as a past tense but a sentence with "accrued" as a past participle being used in an adverbial phrase, which has a passive construction. It expires twelve years after the right accrued.

"the right accrued" is a clause in simple past tense, intransitive, active voice.

The rain fell.

It expires twelve years after my husband died.

Avangi
dimsumexpress the right of action accrued to the person I don't see this as a past tense but a sentence
with "accrued" as a past participle being used in an adverbial phrase,
which has a passive construction.
It expires twelve years after the right accrued."the right accrued" is a clause in simple past tense, intransitive, active voice.The rain fell.It expires twelve years after my husband died.
Hi Avangi,
Like I said, if I was wrong, I'd like to be corrected.
AvangiThe rain fell.

It expires twelve years after my husband died.
Your examples are no doubts active voice, but they are not the same constructions as the OP which in my opinion was awkwardly constructed.

By the end of September, I should have enough vacation time accrued for a week in Hawaii.
Would you agree or disagree "accrued" is passive?
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