Rubenstein v. Doe No. 1

CIVIL PROCEDURE—STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

The last act in a series of sexual abuses remains the date of accrual of the claim for purposes of Gov. Code 901 and 905 requiring, as a condition of suing a government entity, that a claim be filed within 6 months of the accrual of the cause of action.  Following Shirk v. Vista Unified School Dist. (2007) 42 Cal.4th 201, this decision holds that while CCP 340.1(b), as amended in 2002, extended the statute of limitations on a claim for childhood sexual abuse, it did not provide that the claim accrues later than the last act of sexual abuse at least in the sense that the claim is then ripe to be sued upon.  Hence, the last act of sexual abuse remains the date of accrual of the claim for purposes of Gov. Code 901 and 905 requiring, as a condition of suing a government entity, that a claim be filed within 6 months of the accrual of the cause of action.  Going forward this will not be a problem for persons who are sexually molested by government employees or agents since effective Jan. 1, 2009, Gov. Code 905(m) now exempts childhood sexual abuse claims from the claims-filing requirement.  But that statute operates only prospectively and so does not save this case which was based on wrongful conduct in 1993 and 1994.

California Supreme Court (Chin, J.; Werdegar, Liu, & Cuellar, JJ., dissenting); August 28, 2017; 2017 WL 3691550

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