Attorney Support Services for San Diego County and the Temecula Valley.

Eviction Services

Iron Law Eviction Services for San Diego County and Riverside County.

Rubenstein v. Doe No. 1

Filed 8/28/17 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA LATRICE RUBENSTEIN, ) ) Plaintiff and Appellant, ) ) S234269 v. ) ) Ct.App. 4/1 D066722 DOE NO. 1 et al., ) ) Imperial County Defendants and Respondents. ) Super. Ct. No. ECU08107 ____________________________________) In 2012, plaintiff, Latrice Rubenstein, filed a claim with defendant Doe No. 1 (defendant), a public entity, alleging that from 1993 to 1994, when she was a high school student, her cross-country and track coach, who was defendant’s employee, sexually molested her. When the claim was denied, she commenced the instant action against defendant and defendants Does Nos. 2-20. She alleged that latent memories of the sexual abuse resurfaced in early 2012, when she was about 34 years old. As explained below, before suing a public entity, one must generally present a timely claim to that entity. The question before us whether the 2012 claim concerning abuse that allegedly occurred from 1993 to 1994 was timely. The Court of Appeal found the claim timely. We disagree. A similar issue was before us in Shirk v. Vista Unified School Dist. (2007) 42 Cal.4th 201 (Shirk). In Shirk, the plaintiff alleged that from 1978 to 1979, her English teacher, an employee of the defendant school district, sexually molested her. She filed a claim with the school district in 2003 and, shortly thereafter, sued SEE DISSENTING OPINION. the school district. “At the time of plaintiff’s sexual molestation in 1978 to 1979, the applicable statute of limitations for sexual molestation was one year. (Former [Code Civ. Proc.], § 340, subd. (3).)” (Id. at p. 207.) Thus, the cause of action became barred under the statute of limitations. However, statutory changes beginning in 1986 revived her action as far as the statute of limitations was concerned. (Id. at pp. 207-208.) In the complaint, the plaintiff “alleged that on September 12, 2003, when she consulted a licensed mental health professional, she learned she was ‘suffering from psychological injuries’ caused by [the teacher’s] sexual abuse of her in 1978 and 1979, when she was a teenager.” (Id. at p. 210.) On these facts, we held that, although the cause of action had been revived for purposes of the statute of limitations, the claim against the public entity remained untimely. We explained that, subject to exceptions listed in Government Code section 905, “[b]efore suing a public entity, the plaintiff must present a timely written claim for damages to the entity.” (Shirk, supra, 42 Cal.4th at p. 208.) Compliance with the claim requirement is a condition precedent to suing the public entity. “Complaints that do not allege facts demonstrating either that a claim was timely presented or that compliance with the claims statute is excused are subject to a general demurrer for not stating facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.” (Id. at p. 209.) The claim must be presented “not later than six months after the accrual of the cause of action.” (Gov. Code, § 911.2, subd. (a).) A plaintiff may apply for leave to …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court