Thursday, October 13, 2016

Do You Have To File A Claim Form Each Time You Want To Sue A School? Maybe Yes Maybe No: Here Are Some Exceptions

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

Filing a required claim form with a government agency, such as a school or school district, prior to moving to court can be a daunting and confusing task.  I have previously written about the pre-court filing requirement for certain claims against a school or school district (herehere and here) but wanted to add a list of some exclusions (may not be an exhaustive list) for parents and students. 

I don't need to reiterate my earlier posts on filing and late filing, but one code section is relevant when evaluating whether a pre-court filing may be required or not.  California Government Code section 905 states:

"There shall be presented in accordance with Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 900) and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 910) all claims for money or damages against local public entities except any of the following:

(a) Claims under the Revenue and Taxation Code or other statute prescribing procedures for the refund, rebate, exemption, cancellation, amendment, modification, or adjustment of any tax, assessment, fee, or charge or any portion thereof, or of any penalties, costs, or charges related thereto.

(b) Claims in connection with which the filing of a notice of lien, statement of claim, or stop notice is required under any law relating to liens of mechanics, laborers, or materialmen.

(c) Claims by public employees for fees, salaries, wages, mileage, or other expenses and allowances.

(d) Claims for which the workers’ compensation authorized by Division 4 (commencing with Section 3200) of the Labor Code is the exclusive remedy.

(e) Applications or claims for any form of public assistance under the Welfare and Institutions Code or other provisions of law relating to public assistance programs, and claims for goods, services, provisions, or other assistance rendered for or on behalf of any recipient of any form of public assistance.

(f) Applications or claims for money or benefits under any public retirement or pension system.

(g) Claims for principal or interest upon any bonds, notes, warrants, or other evidences of indebtedness.

(h) Claims that relate to a special assessment constituting a specific lien against the property assessed and that are payable from the proceeds of the assessment, by offset of a claim for damages against it or by delivery of any warrant or bonds representing it.

(i) Claims by the state or by a state department or agency or by another local public entity or by a judicial branch entity.

(j) Claims arising under any provision of the Unemployment Insurance Code, including, but not limited to, claims for money or benefits, or for refunds or credits of employer or worker contributions, penalties, or interest, or for refunds to workers of deductions from wages in excess of the amount prescribed.

(k) Claims for the recovery of penalties or forfeitures made pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 1720) of Chapter 1 of Part 7 of Division 2 of the Labor Code.

(l) Claims governed by the Pedestrian Mall Law of 1960 (Part 1 (commencing with Section 11000) of Division 13 of the Streets and Highways Code).

(m) Claims made pursuant to Section 340.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure for the recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse. This subdivision shall apply only to claims arising out of conduct occurring on or after January 1, 2009.

(n) Claims made pursuant to Section 701.820 of the Code of Civil Procedure for the recovery of money pursuant to Section 26680.

(o) Claims made pursuant to Section 49013 of the Education Code for reimbursement of pupil fees for participation in educational activities."

One of the sections referenced above includes claims pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure §340.1, which relates to childhood sexual abuse.  As we all know, childhood sexual abuse all to frequently occurs in schools or involves school employees. 

Another section referenced is a claim for fees wrongly paid under California Education Code sections 49010-49013, such as a claim for return of fees improperly charged for books, materials, extracurricular activities and otherwise.

Parents and students need to be aware of applicable filing time limits so they can competently pursue their school claims should a dispute, sexual abuse claim, or other situation arise.  


Michelle Ball
Education Law Attorney 

717 K Street, Suite 228 
Sacramento, CA 95814 
Phone: 916-444-9064 
Fax: 916-444-1209
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Please see my disclaimer on the bottom of my blog page. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting, etc. etc.!  This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship.

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