Governor Newsom Extends Time for Claimants to Present Claims to Public Entities
On Saturday, March 21, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-35-20 (“Order”). Among other things, the Governor ordered that the time for presenting a claim pursuant to Government Code section 911, et seq. is extended by 60 days. The order further provides that the time within which the Department of General Services may act in response to a claim is also extended for 60 days. Notably, there is no similar extension for other public entities, such as cities, counties, or special districts. The Order became effective immediately on March 21, 2020.
Government Code section 911.2 provides that a claim relating to a cause of action for death or for injury to person or to personal property or growing crops shall be presented not later than six months after the accrual of the cause of action. It further provides that a claim relating to any other cause of action shall be presented not later than one year after the accrual of the cause of action.
Therefore, beginning March 21, 2020, a claimant with a claim relating to death, personal injury, personal property injury, or injury to growing crops will have 6 months plus 60 days to present a claim. Likewise, a claimant with a claim relating to any other cause of action will have 1 year plus 60 days to present a claim.
All public entities should be aware of these new statutory deadlines so that claims relating to causes of action accrued during the time period in which this Order is effective will not be erroneously returned as untimely. Local public entities, however, should continue to review and act on claims within the 45-day period pursuant to Government Code section 911.6 (if they so choose) because the Order only changes this time period for the Department of General Services, not for other public entities.
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