By John Pinkney
In California, a person who launches a legal claim against a public office, or government official, must satisfy many more requirements than if they make a claim against another citizen. The concept of sovereign immunity protects government officials from everyday legal proceedings and the obligation to be held financially liable in court cases.
California Tort Claims to Protect Government Officials
The California Tort Claims Act is a powerful piece of legislation that umbrellas all government agencies, officials, and employees. It is designed to protect government officials from being sued because their actions are, by default, under the scrutiny of the public at-large.
Tort Claims Act Focuses for Claims
Though public officials must deal with legal claims, the California Tort Claims Act provides them with time and advance notice of legal disputes. This gives agencies and government departments time to prepare defense cases, or create barriers in threatening situations. Some people claim that certain pieces of legislation harm them unduly. The Tort Claims Act prevents the focus of a claim from falling on one singular appointed, or elected official.
Tort Law Can’t Prevent Legal Claims
Government officials are however, not completely immune from legal claims. Anyone who files a claim against a government agency or official must follow a strict process.
* First, make claims to the appropriate department in the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.
* Second, prepare all further actions within a six-month time frame.
* Third, gather legal help that with lend assistance if delays become a problem in processing claims.
Window to File Claims
There is a six-month window for notifying California government agencies of the filing of claims. This is much different than all other civil claims. By law, the California government has 45 days to entertain, or deny all filings. Unfortunately, the processing time of legal claims in the government of California is extremely slow.
A six month window is a short time, and should prompt plaintiffs in all potential cases to keep on top of their claims by partnering with a Coachella Valley public law attorney offering services in government claims.