This is a reminder to update your district’s Statement of Facts listed in the Roster of Public Agencies, a public list of basic facts about a school district which includes the following:
The full, legal name of the public agency;
- The official mailing address of the governing body;
- The name and residence or business address of each member of the governing body; and
- The name, title, and residence or business address of the chairman, president, or other presiding officer, and clerk or secretary of the governing body.
Potential claimants can use the list to find names and addresses for filing a claim under the Government Claims Act with a district. The timely filing of a governmental claim with a district is a precondition to filing a lawsuit against that district.
The consequences of failing to maintain the accuracy of this factual information can be significant. Claimants may be allowed to file lawsuits without first filing timely governmental claims with the district if the basic facts listed above are significantly inaccurate or incomplete.
Government Code section 53051 requires every school district to file a Statement of Facts about the district with the California Secretary of State and with the county clerk for each county in which the district maintains an office after it comes into existence and to periodically amend that Statement of Facts.
Subsection (b) of section 53051 requires districts to file an amended Statement of Facts within 10 days after a change in any of these basic facts. Some school districts may be welcoming new members to their boards as a result of recent elections and will have new appointments of board members (see fact #3 above). Organizational meetings may result in a change in the presiding officer (see fact #4 above). If there are changes in the facts listed above, it is important that you file an amended Statement of Facts with the Secretary of State and with the county clerk for each county where the district maintains an office. Failure to do so could relieve a claimant of the duty to comply with the Government Claims Act and increase exposure to lawsuits.
Districts must ensure they are using their full legal name when filing and not an abbreviated acronym.
To ensure your Statement of Facts is properly filed, we advise either using U.S. certified mail, return receipt requested, or sending an extra copy with a postage-paid envelope and cover letter asking for a file endorsed copy.
Attached is a copy of Government Code section 53051, and a Statement of Facts form for filing with the Secretary of State. Contact your local county clerk’s office for instructions on how to file the Statement of Facts at the county level.
Please contact our office with questions regarding this Legal Update or any other legal matter.
Legal Update written by Steven P. Reiner,Associate General Counsel.
The information in this Legal Update is provided as a summary of law and is not intended as legal advice. Application of the law may vary depending on the particular facts and circumstances at issue. We, therefore, recommend that you consult legal counsel to advise you on how the law applies to your specific situation.
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