People may choose to sue the state for a variety of reasons. Usually this involves an allegation that the individual has suffered damages because a state agency or employee is responsible for a death, physical injury or property damage.
Claims Against Local Government Agencies or Employees
If the case involves a county, city or other local governmental entity or employee, the claim should be filed directly with the local city or county's governing board or clerk. Claims can be delivered in person or by mail.
Claims Against Courts
Claims against a judicial branch entity, such as a court or judge, should be submitted as described in California Government Code section 915(c). Generally, a claim, claim amendment, or an application for leave to file a late claim shall be presented to a judicial branch entity as follows:
- Delivering or mailing it to the court executive officer, if the claim is against a superior court or a judge, court executive officer, or trial court employee.
- Delivering or mailing it to the clerk/administrator of the court of appeals, if against a court of appeals or a judge of that court.
- Delivering or mailing it to the Clerk of the Supreme Court, if against the Supreme Court or a judge of that court.
- Delivering or mailing it to the Secretariat of the Judicial Council, if against the Judicial Council or the Administrative Office of the Courts.
Please contact the court involved for further details.
Timelines for Filing Claims
Claims for death or injury to a person, personal property, or growing crops must be filed within six months after the incident occurred. Any other claim must be filed within one year after the incident.
If the claim should have been filed within six months, and the deadline was missed, claimants must file a "leave to present a late claim" within one year. For more details on late claims, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.