Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 1. GENERAL [100 - 7914]

  ( Title 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

DIVISION 3.6. CLAIMS AND ACTIONS AGAINST PUBLIC ENTITIES AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES [810 - 998.3]

  ( Division 3.6 added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1681. )

PART 4. ACTIONS AGAINST PUBLIC ENTITIES AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES [940 - 962]

  ( Part 4 added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1715. )

CHAPTER 4. Special Provisions Relating to Actions Against the State [955 - 956]
  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1715. )

955.
  

The proper court for trial of actions against the State for the taking or damaging of private property for public use is a court of competent jurisdiction in the county in which the property is situate.

Except as provided in Sections 955.2 and 955.3, upon written demand of the Attorney General made on or before answering, the place of trial in other actions shall be changed to Sacramento County.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 387.)

955.1.
  

(a) The science of earthquake prediction is developing rapidly and, although still largely in a research stage, these predictions are now being initiated and are certain to continue into the future. Administrative procedures exist within the Office of Emergency Services to advise the Governor on the validity of earthquake predictions. Numerous important actions can be taken by state and local governments and special districts to protect life and property in response to earthquake predictions and associated warnings. It is the intent of this legislation to ensure that those actions are taken in the public interest by government agencies acting in a responsible manner without fear of consequent financial liabilities.

(b) The Governor may, at his or her discretion, issue a warning as to the existence of an earthquake or volcanic prediction determined to have scientific validity. The state and its agencies and employees shall not be liable for any injury resulting from the issuance or nonissuance of a warning pursuant to this subdivision or for any acts or omissions in fact gathering, evaluation, or other activities leading up to the issuance or nonissuance of a warning.

(c) Public entities and public employees may, on the basis of a warning issued pursuant to subdivision (b), take, or fail or refuse to take, any action or execute or fail or refuse to execute any earthquake or volcanic prediction response plan with relation to the warning which is otherwise authorized by law. In taking, or failing or refusing to take, such action, neither public entities nor public employees shall be liable for any injuries caused thereby or for any injuries resulting from the preparation of, or failure or refusal to prepare, any earthquake hazard or damage prediction maps, plans for evacuation of endangered areas, and other plan elements.

(d) An earthquake or volcanic warning issued by the Governor pursuant to subdivision (b) is a sufficient basis for a declaration of a state of emergency or local emergency as defined by Section 8558. Public entities and public employees shall be immune from liability in accordance with all immunity provisions applicable during such state of emergency or local emergency.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 352, Sec. 103. (AB 1317) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 543 of Ch. 352.)

955.2.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, where the State is named as a defendant in any action or proceeding for death or injury to person or personal property and the injury or the injury causing death occurred within this State, the proper court for the trial of the action is a court of competent jurisdiction in the county where the injury occurred or where the injury causing death occurred. The court may, on motion, change the place of the trial in the same manner and under the same circumstances as the place of trial may be changed where an action is between private parties.

(Added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1715.)

955.3.
  

Notwithstanding any provision of law, when a city, county, or city and county, or local agency is a plaintiff in an action or proceeding against the State of California, the action may be tried in any city or county, or city and county, where the city, county, or city and county, or local agency is situated.

The Attorney General may, on behalf of the State of California, before answering, move to change the place of trial to Sacramento County in accordance with the provisions of Section 397 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

For the purposes of this section, “local agency” means any governmental district, board, or agency, or any other local governmental body or corporation, or elected local public official, but shall not include the State of California or any of its agencies, departments, commissions, or boards, or elected public officials in the executive branch of the state government.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 156, Sec. 2. Effective July 11, 1994.)

955.4.
  

Except as provided in Sections 811.9, 955.6, 955.8, and 955.9:

(a) Service of summons in all actions on claims against the state shall be made on the Attorney General.

(b) The Attorney General shall defend all actions on claims against the state.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1007, Sec. 15. Effective January 1, 2003.)

955.6.
  

In actions for the taking or damaging of private property for public use within the meaning of Section 19 of Article I of the Constitution on claims arising out of work done by the Department of Transportation:

(a) Service of summons shall be made on the Attorney General or the Director of Transportation.

(b) The defense shall be conducted by the attorney for the Department of Transportation.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 215.)

955.8.
  

In actions for the taking or damaging of private property for public use within the meaning of Section 14 of Article I of the Constitution on claims arising out of work done by the Department of Water Resources:

(a) Service of summons shall be made on the Attorney General or the Director of Water Resources.

(b) The defense shall be conducted by the legal counsel of the department, if authorized by the Attorney General pursuant to Section 127 of the Water Code; otherwise the defense shall be conducted by the Attorney General.

(Added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1715.)

955.9.
  

In actions on claims against a judicial branch entity, service of summons shall be made on:

(a) The court executive officer, in actions on claims against a superior court or a judge thereof.

(b) The Clerk/Executive Officer of the Court of Appeal, in actions on claims against a court of appeal or a judge thereof.

(c) The Clerk/Executive Officer of the Supreme Court, in actions on claims against the Supreme Court or a judge thereof.

(d) The Administrative Director of the Judicial Council, in actions on claims against the Judicial Council or the Administrative Office of the Courts.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 92, Sec. 84. (SB 1289) Effective January 1, 2019.)

956.
  

Whenever the State has acquired by gift, under the will of a decedent or through a decree of distribution in the estate of a decedent, or otherwise than by purchase or the exercise of the power of eminent domain, a remainder interest, whether contingent or vested, in real property, or an undivided fractional interest in real property, the holder or holders of the precedent estate or of other undivided fractional interests, as the case may be, may join the State as a party defendant in any action to partition said property, brought pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure or in any action in declaratory relief brought pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure. In the complaint in any such action the nature of the interest of the State shall be set forth and the manner in which the same was acquired and process in any such action shall be served upon the Attorney General and the Director of Finance. In any such action the Attorney General shall represent the State and may on behalf of the State execute such stipulations, disclaimers or consents as may be appropriate.

(Added by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1450.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV