An unfair competition action is governed by the UCL’s four-year limitations period, even when it alleges unlawful conduct under another statute that is governed by a shorter limitations period. This rule applies even when the predicate statute is federal, rather than state. The mere existence of a shorter federal statute of limitations for suits directly under the federal statute does not show that Congress intended to preempt the UCL’s longer limitations period. Here, plaintiffs benefit from both a year longer limitations period (4 years) and a later accrual date of their claims (when last element of the claim, damages, occurred) under the UCL than was available to them under the Interstate Land Sales Act on which they based their unlawful claim (3 years from consummation of purchase).

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Smith, M., J.); March 10, 2016; 2016 WL 909163