Civil Litigation Legal Topics Public Law Tort Law

Timing for Presenting a Government Claim Is Critical

Before suing a public entity, a party generally must notify the government of its claim within a specified period of time. This is called “presenting” the claim. The rules around preparing and presenting a claim are strict and detailed. Here are some common questions with answers to help get your timing right.

Checklists Legal Topics Personal Injury Tort Law

Checklist: What to Include in a Government Claim

Under California’s Government Claims Act (Govt C §§810–996.6), you can’t sue a public entity or its employees until after you’ve presented the entity with a claim for “money or damages.” Here’s a handy checklist of the essential elements to include in a claim.

Civil Litigation Legal Topics Tort Law

Pardon My Tardy Claim

late_76811323If you’re suing a public entity or public employee (acting within the scope of employment) for money or damages, you must first file a timely administrative claim. But what do you do if you’re late in filing your claim?

Civil Litigation Legal Topics

File a Claim or Forget Your Suit Against a Public Entity!

Most lawsuits seeking money or damages against a public entity or public employee acting within the scope of  employment, must be preceded by a proper administrative claim under the Government Claims Act (formerly known as the Tort Claims Act) (Govt C §§810–998.3). The reasons for the claims presentation requirements are very practical: They give the governmental entity a chance to settle just claims before suit is brought and, by permitting early investigation of  the facts, enable the entity to defend against unjust claims and correct the conditions or practices that gave rise to the claim.

The claims presentation requirement also has a draconian edge to them: If a claim is required and not timely submitted, the case is over before it begins.  This makes it extremely important that attorneys understand the deadlines for filing a claim, which depend on the type of cause of action involved.