Ask a government agency to pay you by a deadline
Before you can sue a government agency, you must first file a claim with the agency. If they deny your claim, you have 6 months to file a lawsuit in court.
To sue a government agency, you'll need to meet multiple deadlines. You'll typically need to send in a claim within 6 months or 1 year of the date the issue happened. If they deny the claim, you have 6 months to sue.
Fill out claim form
Find the claim form for the government agency you're asking to pay you. Many have them online.
If you're suing the State of California: You can find information on how to submit claims on the Government Claims Program website.
If you're suing a city or county: Search online or contact the city or county agency to find out how to send in your claim.
Send in claim by deadline
Send your claim to the government agency by the deadline.
- 6 months from the injury if you are suing about an injury to you or damage to something you own
- 1 year from the date a contract was broken or your real estate (house or land) was damaged
Get back government response
The government has 45 days to get back to you about your claim.
If the government denies your claim, you have 6 months from the date they mailed the rejection to file your lawsuit.
If the government doesn't respond by the 45-day deadline, you generally have up to 2 years to start a case from the injury date.
If you aren't sure what your deadline is, talk to a lawyer.