The term laches, when used in a legal sense, generally brings to mind the image of the complainant who has slept on his rights for an unreasonable length of time, and who is now precluded from asserting those rights. Laches connotes the passage of time and a laxness on the part of a party to assert his rights during the time elapsed. The defense of laches, as applied in equity, is a much more restricted doctrine than is apparent in this connotation of the word. The purpose of this note is to show what generally constitutes a defense of laches, and to point out the relationship of this defense to the doctrine of estoppel which may be applied when a party fails to assert his rights in a reasonable length of time.
John W. Plattenburg,
The Defense of Laches and a Correlative,
W. Va. L. Rev.
Available at: https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/wvlr/vol59/iss3/4