California Government Code Section 53051

Case Law Addressing Substantial Conformity with Section 53051 Surprisingly few cases have addressed whether a public agency's statement on file with the Roster of Public Agencies "substantially conformed to the requirements of Government Code section 53051." ( 946.4, subd. (a)(2).) First, the authority most on point is Banfield v. Sierra View Local Dist. Hospital (1981) 124 Cal.App.3d 444, 451 (Banfield). There the plaintiff submitted evidence showing that "the statements, filed by two local hospital districts in the applicable Roster of Public Agencies, failed to show 'substantial changes' which had occurred in the name and address of the secretary of each hospital." (Ibid.) The trial court in Banfield had "granted . . . relief under . . . section 946.4 from the requirement of presenting a claim because the hospitals had not filed the required information with the roster of public agencies." (Id. at p. 452.) The hospital districts did not challenge that finding on appeal, and the appellate court relied on that finding in its analysis of the statute of limitations issue that was before it. (Id. at p. 456.) Banfield described and adopted a trial court ruling that the hospital districts' failure to update the identity of their secretaries constituted a lack of substantial conformance with the requirements of section 53051. Second, although it did not directly address whether a public agency substantially conformed to the requirements of section 53051, our Supreme Court in Wilson v. San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (1977) 19 Cal.3d 555, provided useful guidance regarding the scope and purpose of section 946.4. Third, and finally, relevant to any analysis of whether a party substantially conformed to the requirements of section 53051 is our Supreme Court's statement in Tubbs v. Southern California Rapid Transit Dist. (1967) 67 Cal.2d 671, 676 (Tubbs) about the purpose of that statute. According to Tubbs, "the purpose of the statute requiring information for the Roster of Public Agencies ( 53051) was to provide a means for identifying public agencies and the names and addresses of designated officers needed to enable or assist a person to comply with any applicable claims procedure." (Ibid.)