In California, before you may sue a public entity (a state, county or local governmental entity) or a person acting in their capacity as a government employee for money damages, you must first file a claim which meets the requirements of the California Tort Claims Act (see California Government Code sections 810-996.6). With very limited exceptions, no lawsuit for money damages may be brought against a governmental entity unless a written claim has been properly filed within the six-month time limit.
The California Tort Claims Act sets out strict timelines that you must follow when filing a claim against the District. You must file a claim for personal injury (that is, one based on death, physical injury, or damage to personal property) within
six months of the date of the injury (see Government Code section 911.2).
What happens to the claim once it is filed
After you file a claim the District must respond (allow or reject the claim in whole or in part) within 45 days. If the District does not respond, the claim is rejected by operation of law on the 45th day (see Government Code sections 912.6(a), 912.4(c)).
Suing the District if the claim is rejected
If the District rejects the claim in whole or in part, you have six months from the date the notification is mailed to file a lawsuit against the District (see Government Code sections 913, 945.6(a)(1)).
If the District fails to notify you of its action, such failure is treated as a rejection of the claim (as discussed above) and you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit (see Government Code section 945.6(a)(2)).
As explained above, other time limits and procedures may also apply to your type of case. You may seek the advice of an attorney to get more specific information relevant to your situation.
How to File a Claim
- Fill out the Claim Form and send it to Risk Management via fax (714-796-3918), or US mail:
Risk Management Office
2323 N. Broadway, Suite #225
Santa Ana, CA 92705
- Include relevant documentation.
How to Serve a Lawsuit/Subpoena
Lawsuits against the Rancho Santiago Community College District must also be submitted to the Risk Management office. For more information, please call (714) 480-7570