Wednesday, August 1, 2018
County Justifiably Relied on Claimant’s Representations As to Timeliness—C.A.
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A county had no duty to advise a former jailor that she had 45 days within which to seek leave to file a late claim where the claim she filed was, on its face, timely under her allegations, the Third District Court of Appeal held yesterday.
Acting Presiding Justice Louis Mauro wrote the opinion which reverses an order granting a new trial to ex-jailor Renee Estill, who sued Shasta County in connection with the disclosure of private information about her.
Her claim was filed Feb. 23, 2012, reciting an incident in September 2009, but representing that she “first became aware” of the incident on Sept. 9, 2011. The claim, appearing to have been filed within six months of accrual of the underlying causes of action, was denied on the merits.
Estill sued. The county then learned, from her deposition testimony, that Estill was, in fact, aware of the events in 2009, and sought summary judgment based on the tardiness of the claim.
Shasta Superior Court Judge Stephen Benson granted the motion, but later ordered a new trial, finding there to be triable issues as to whether the county waived its defense of untimeliness.
Under Government Code §911.3, a waiver occurs where the governmental entity does not advise a claimant within 45 days of the presentation of untimely claim that leave may be sought to file that late claim.
“We conclude that a claimant may be estopped from invoking the section 911.3 waiver provision where a public entity’s failure to notify the claimant that a claim is untimely is induced by the claimant’s representation on the government claim form. And in this case, based on the entire appellate record, including the supplemental briefs, we conclude Estill is estopped from asserting that defendants waived their defense of untimeliness.”
The case is Estill v. County of Shasta, 2018 S.O.S. 3732.
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