2005 California Government Code Sections 945-949 CHAPTER 2. ACTIONS AGAINST PUBLIC ENTITIES

GOVERNMENT CODE
SECTION 945-949

945.  A public entity may sue and be sued.
945.2.  Except as otherwise provided by law, the rules of practice
in civil actions apply to actions brought against public entities.
945.3.  No person charged by indictment, information, complaint, or
other accusatory pleading charging a criminal offense may bring a
civil action for money or damages against a peace officer or the
public entity employing a peace officer based upon conduct of the
peace officer relating to the offense for which the accused is
charged, including an act or omission in investigating or reporting
the offense or arresting or detaining the accused, while the charges
against the accused are pending before a superior court.
   Any applicable statute of limitations for filing and prosecuting
these actions shall be tolled during the period that the charges are
pending before a superior court.
   For the purposes of this section, charges pending before a
superior court do not include appeals or criminal proceedings
diverted pursuant to Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1000),
Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 1000.6), Chapter 2.7 (commencing
with Section 1001), Chapter 2.8 (commencing with Section 1001.20),
or Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 1001.50) of Title 6 of Part 2
of the Penal Code.
   Nothing in this section shall prohibit the filing of a claim with
the board of a public entity, and this section shall not extend the
time within which a claim is required to be presented pursuant to
Section 911.2.
945.4.  Except as provided in Sections 946.4 and 946.6, no suit for
money or damages may be brought against a public entity on a cause of
action for which a claim is required to be presented in accordance
with Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 900) and Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 910) of Part 3 of this division until a
written claim therefor has been presented to the public entity and
has been acted upon by the board, or has been deemed to have been
rejected by the board, in accordance with Chapters 1 and 2 of Part 3
of this division.
945.6.  (a) Except as provided in Sections 946.4 and 946.6 and
subject to subdivision (b), any suit brought against a public entity
on a cause of action for which a claim is required to be presented in
accordance with Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 900) and Chapter
2 (commencing with Section 910) of Part 3 of this division must be
commenced:
   (1) If written notice is given in accordance with Section 913, not
later than six months after the date such notice is personally
delivered or deposited in the mail.
   (2) If written notice is not given in accordance with Section 913,
within two years from the accrual of the cause of action.  If the
period within which the public entity is required to act is extended
pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 912.4, the period of such
extension is not part of the time limited for the commencement of the
action under this paragraph.
   (b) When a person is unable to commence a suit on a cause of
action described in subdivision (a) within the time prescribed in
that subdivision because he has been sentenced to imprisonment in a
state prison, the time limit for the commencement of such suit is
extended to six months after the date that the civil right to
commence such action is restored to such person, except that the time
shall not be extended if the public entity establishes that the
plaintiff failed to make a reasonable effort to commence the suit, or
to obtain a restoration of his civil right to do so, before the
expiration of the time prescribed in subdivision (a).
   (c) A person sentenced to imprisonment in a state prison may not
commence a suit on a cause of action described in subdivision (a)
unless he presented a claim in accordance with Chapter 1 (commencing
with Section 900) and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 910) of Part
3 of this division.
945.8.  Except where a different statute of limitations is
specifically applicable to the public entity, and except as provided
in Sections 930.6 and 935, any action against a public entity upon a
cause of action for which a claim is not required to be presented in
accordance with Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 900) and Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 910) of Part 3 of this division must be
commenced within the time prescribed by the statute of limitations
that would be applicable if the action were brought against a
defendant other than a public entity.
946.  Where a claim that is required to be presented to a public
entity in accordance with Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 900) and
Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 910) of Part 3 of this division
is so presented and action thereon is taken by the board:
   (a) If the claim is allowed in full and the claimant accepts the
amount allowed, no suit may be maintained on any part of the cause of
action to which the claim relates.
   (b) If the claim is allowed in part and the claimant accepts the
amount allowed, no suit may be maintained on that part of the cause
of action which is represented by the allowed portion of the claim.
   (c) If the claim is allowed in part, no suit may be maintained on
any portion of the cause of action where, pursuant to a requirement
of the board to such effect, the claimant has accepted the amount
allowed in settlement of the entire claim.
946.4.  (a) Where provision is made by or pursuant to law that no
suit may be brought against a public agency as defined in Section
53050 unless and until a claim is presented to the agency, the
failure to present a claim does not constitute a bar or defense to
the maintenance of a suit against such public agency if, during the
70 days immediately following the accrual of the cause of action:
   (1) No statement pertaining to the public agency is on file, or is
placed on file, in the Roster of Public Agencies in the office of
the Secretary of State and of the county clerk of each county in
which the public agency then maintains an office, as required by
Section 53051; or
   (2) A statement or amended statement pertaining to the public
agency is on file, or is placed on file, in the Roster of Public
Agencies in the office of the Secretary of State and of the county
clerk of each county in which the public agency then maintains an
office, but the information contained therein is so inaccurate or
incomplete that it does not substantially conform to the requirements
of Section 53051.
   (b) On any question of fact arising within the scope of paragraphs
(1) and (2) of subdivision (a), the burden of proof is upon the
public agency.
   (c) This section is inapplicable where the presentation of a claim
is required by a claims procedure established by agreement made
pursuant to Section 930.2 unless the procedure so prescribed requires
that the claim be presented to the governing body of the public
agency or to a person listed in Section 53051.
946.6.  (a) If an application for leave to present a claim is denied
or deemed to be denied pursuant to Section 911.6, a petition may be
made to the court for an order relieving the petitioner from Section
945.4.  The proper court for filing the petition is a superior court
that would be a proper court for the trial of an action on the cause
of action to which the claim relates.  If the petition is filed in a
court which is not a proper court for the determination of the
matter, the court, on motion of any party, shall transfer the
proceeding to a proper court.  If an action on the cause of action to
which the claim relates would be a limited civil case, a proceeding
pursuant to this section is a limited civil case.
   (b) The petition shall show each of the following:
   (1) That application was made to the board under Section 911.4 and
was denied or deemed denied.
   (2) The reason for failure to present the claim within the time
limit specified in Section 911.2.
   (3) The information required by Section 910.
   The petition shall be filed within six months after the
application to the board is denied or deemed to be denied pursuant to
Section 911.6.
   (c) The court shall relieve the petitioner from the requirements
of Section 945.4 if the court finds that the application to the board
under Section 911.4 was made within a reasonable time not to exceed
that specified in subdivision (b) of Section 911.4 and was denied or
deemed denied pursuant to Section 911.6 and that one or more of the
following is applicable:
   (1) The failure to present the claim was through mistake,
inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect unless the public entity
establishes that it would be prejudiced in the defense of the claim
if the court relieves the petitioner from the requirements of Section
945.4.
   (2) The person who sustained the alleged injury, damage or loss
was a minor during all of the time specified in Section 911.2 for the
presentation of the claim.
   (3) The person who sustained the alleged injury, damage or loss
was physically or mentally incapacitated during all of the time
specified in Section 911.2 for the presentation of the claim and by
reason of that disability failed to present a claim during that time.
   (4) The person who sustained the alleged injury, damage or loss
died before the expiration of the time specified in Section 911.2 for
the presentation of the claim.
   (d) A copy of the petition and a written notice of the time and
place of hearing shall be served before the hearing as prescribed by
subdivision (b) of Section 1005 of the Code of Civil Procedure on (1)
the clerk or secretary or board of the local public entity, if the
respondent is a local public entity, or (2) the Attorney General, if
the respondent is the state.  If the petition involves a claim
arising out of alleged actions or inactions of the Department of
Transportation, service of the petition and notice of the hearing
shall be made on the Attorney General or the Director of
Transportation.  Service on the Attorney General may be accomplished
at any of the Attorney General's offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento,
San Diego, or San Francisco.  Service on the Director of
Transportation may be accomplished only at the Department of
Transportation's headquarters office in Sacramento.  If the petition
involves a claim arising out of alleged actions or inactions of a
judicial branch entity, service of the petition and notice of the
hearing shall be made in accordance with the following:
   (1) If the petition involves a claim arising out of alleged
actions or inactions of a superior court or a judge, court executive
officer, or trial court employee, as defined in Section 811.9, of the
court, service shall be made on the court executive officer.
   (2) If the petition involves a claim arising out of alleged
actions or inactions of a court of appeals or a judge thereof,
service shall be made on the Clerk/Administrator of the court of
appeals.
   (3) If the petition involves a claim arising out of alleged
actions or inactions of the Supreme Court or a judge thereof, service
shall be made on the Clerk of the Supreme Court.
   (4) If the petition involves a claim arising out of alleged
actions or inactions of the Judicial Council or the Administrative
Office of the Courts, service shall be made on the secretariat of the
Judicial Council.
   (e) The court shall make an independent determination upon the
petition.  The determination shall be made upon the basis of the
petition, any affidavits in support of or in opposition to the
petition, and any additional evidence received at the hearing on the
petition.
   (f) If the court makes an order relieving the petitioner from
Section 945.4, suit on the cause of action to which the claim relates
shall be filed with the court within 30 days thereafter.
948.  (a) The head of the state agency concerned, upon
recommendation of the Attorney General or other attorney authorized
to represent the state, may settle, adjust, or compromise any pending
action where the Director of Finance certifies that a sufficient
appropriation for the payment of claims exists.  Claims arising out
of the activities of the State Department of Transportation may be
paid if either the Director of Transportation or the Director of
Finance certifies that a sufficient appropriation for the payment of
the claim exists.
   (b) If no funds or insufficient funds for the payment exist, the
head of the state agency concerned, upon recommendation of the
Attorney General or other attorney authorized to represent the state,
may settle, adjust or compromise any pending action with the
approval of the Department of Finance.
   (c) As used in this section, "state agency" means any office,
officer, department, division, bureau, board, commission or agency of
the state claims against which are paid by warrants drawn by the
Controller, but does not mean any "judicial branch entity" as defined
in Section 940.3 or any judge thereof.
948.1.  The Judicial Council may settle, adjust, or compromise any
pending action arising out of the activities of a judicial branch
entity or judge thereof.  The Judicial Council may adopt rules of
court authorizing any committee of the Judicial Council or employee
of the Administrative Office of the Courts to perform the functions
of the Judicial Council under this section.
949.  The governing body of a local public entity may compromise, or
may delegate the authority to its attorney or an employee to
compromise, any pending action.


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