Claim Presentation Requirements Apply to Contract Causes of Action Against Goverment Defendants

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In December, the California Supreme Court held in City of Stockton v. Superior Court (Civic Partners Stockton, LLC) (2007), Case No. S139237, that the requirements set forth in Government Code sections 905 and following, apply to breach of contract claims against any government defendant. The court held that contract claims fall within the plain meaning of the requirement that "all claims for money or damages" be presented to a local public agency (Government Code section 905) within one year and no suit for money or damages may be brought against a public entity on a cause of action for which a claim is required to be presented until a written claim has been presented to the public entity and has been acted upon or been rejected (Government Code sections 901, 911.2 and 945.4). The Court also adopted the practice of referring to the Claims Against Public Entities & Employees statutes as the "Government Claims Act" rather than the commonly used short title of "Tort Claims Act" in order to avoid any confusion engendered by the misnomer.

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