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SB 501 – Relaxes Tort Claim Presentation Deadlines For Minors And Incapacitated Persons
Under the Government Claims Act, a public agency can generally only be held liable for damages to property or persons if the injured party presents a tort claim to the agency within six months. If the injured party misses this deadline, current law allows them to apply to submit an untimely claim within one year of the injury instead. Agencies must grant this application in certain circumstances, such as if the person was a minor child during the entire six-month period, or if their failure to present a timely claim was due to being incapacitated for the entire six-month period.
SB 501 was enacted to avoid unjust application of this rule in edge cases, such as where a minor claimant turned 18 just before the six-month deadline. Under current law, that claimant would not be eligible for the extended deadline. The bill amends the Government Claims Act to provide the automatic grant of an application for leave to file an untimely claim to an injured party who was a minor child or incapacitated for any portion of the original six-month deadline, so long as the application is filed within six months of the person turning 18 or no longer being incapacitated, or within one year after the injury, whichever comes first.
(SB 501 amends Sections 911.6 and 946.6 of the Government Code.)