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  • Pandemic-Era Extensions for Presenting Government Claims to Public Entity Defendants Expired on October 27, 2022

Pandemic-Era Extensions for Presenting Government Claims to Public Entity Defendants Expired on October 27, 2022

October 31, 2022

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On October 27, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 pandemic-related extensions of the deadline to present a government claim to a public entity under the Government Claims Act expired. In other words, a would-be claimant can no longer invoke the 120-day pandemic-related extension when presenting a claim.

Background

Government Code section 911.2 provides that a claim relating to a cause of action for death or injury to a person, or injury to personal property or growing crops, shall be presented to the public entity defendant no 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 against a public entity that is subject to the claims presentation requirement shall be presented to the public entity defendant no later than one year after the accrual of the cause of action.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a series of executive orders that extended the time by which a government claim must be presented under the Government Claims Act. (Cobble v. Ventura County Health Care Agency (2021) 73 Cal.App.5th 417, 422.) The Governor’s first executive order extended those deadlines by 60 days. (Governor’s Exec. Order No. N-35-20 (March 21, 2020).) The second executive order extended those deadlines by an additional 60 days. (Governor’s Exec. Order No. N-71-20 (June 30, 2022).) In sum, the total extension was 120 days. Further, pursuant to a third executive order, the 120-day extension applied only to claims that accrued before June 30, 2021. (Governor’s Exec. Order No. N-08-21 (June 11, 2021).) Thus, for the 120-day extension to apply, a claim must have accrued on or before June 29, 2021.

Based on the June 29, 2021 claim accrual cut-off date, whether a public entity is assessing the timeliness of a claim subject to the six-month or one-year claim presentment deadline, the 120-day deadline extension no longer applies. For example, for a six-month claim that accrued on June 29, 2021—i.e.the last possible date to which the 120-day extension applies, a claimant would have six months plus 120 days to present a timely claim to the public entity, or by April 28, 2022, at the latest. Similarly, for a one-year claim that accrued on June 29, 2021, the claimant would have one year plus 120-days to present their claim, or by October 27, 2022, at the latest. Thus, whether a six-month or one-year claim, Governor Newsom’s pandemic-related extensions of the claim presentment deadline are no longer applicable.

Practical Guidance and Takeaway

The 120-day pandemic-related extension for presenting government claims has expired. Public entities should carefully review claims to determine the applicable accrual date. If a claim accrued on or after June 30, 2021, the traditional six-month/one-year deadlines in Government Code section 911.2 apply. However, if a claim accrued on or before June 29, 2021, the last day to present a six-month claim was April 28, 2022, while the last day to present a one-year claim was October 27, 2022.

For more information, please contact:

Alexandra Atencio

415-995-5870 Direct Phone
415-995-3495 Fax

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David Casarrubias

415-995-5893 Direct Phone
415-995-3589 Fax

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