STEPS FOR FILING CLAIMS AGAINST COUNTY/CITY OFFICIALS
Please note – If the elected/appointed official has a Surety Bond instead of an Insurance Policy, steps 1-4 will be the same but then you will need get the next steps from Bonds for the Win.
Decide on the category of elected/appointed official (s) you want to file a claim against.
Recommended: Groups of parents/individuals should divide into groups of at least 2 per elected/appointed official(s) that is to be served (insurance companies don’t like more than 2 claims in a 3 year period, this gives you more leverage). Then decide who you want to file a claim against. Here are your options:
EXECUTIVE/LEGISLATIVE BRANCH: Governor, Lt. Governor, Senator, Assemblyman, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction
COUNTY: Board of Supervisors, District Attorney, County Counsel, Sheriff
PUBLIC HEALTH: Public Health Director, Public Health Officer (important)
CITY: Mayor, City Counsel
SCHOOL DISTRICT: Superintendent, School Board Members
COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION: Superintendent, Board Members
Do a Records Request for the (List all of these in the request) Bond, Liability/Crime Policy, Memorandum of Coverage to the County Recorder/City Clerk/School District Office, whichever applies, to obtain the policy. More info on this step can be found on Bonds for the Win
Description of different forms of coverage:
Bonds: Covers an individual,
Insurance: Umbrella coverage for entire County/City/School and will have a policy number,
Memorandum of Coverage: They are self-insured, this will not look like a “normal” policy and will not have a policy number (Almost all officials in California are Not Bonded).
Note to California Residents: Check our Insurance policies page for your individual policy for your location. It might have already been obtained. You can also check Bonds For the Win for your policy. They have obtained numerous policies and are ready and willing to help you with this process.
Get their Oath of Office from the County Recorder’s Office, they will have the County/City/School Superintendents oaths, unless it is a state official, then you will have to get it from the Secretary of State Office.
If an elected/appointed official does not have an Oath of Office, by law, they cannot receive compensation or reimbursement and therefore a lawsuit can be filed against them to return their compensation/reimbursement they have received since taking office.
After you have your documentation, serve them with a Lawful Notice/Notice of Intent to cease and desist for whatever you are asking, in the Notice. There is a Lawful Notice (template below) that can be tailored to your location and demands, as well as, templates on Bonds For The Win. Make sure you add a cover letter that tells them how many days they have to rectify these demands and if they do not, that you intend to file a claim against their Bond/Insurance (whichever applies). You can include a copy of their Oath, as a reminder to them, if you wish. You can serve them at their offices yourself (this is not a lawsuit and therefore having a process server or sheriff serve them is unnecessary). Have their office sign for this (a sample Proof of Service is located at the bottom).
An official rectifies grievance – Stop here
Official fails to rectify grievance, continue to step 5
File a claim with the Insurance Company. Bonds for the Win has a great step-by-step guide on how to perform this step. Please visit this page for more info on filing a claim with the insurance company
Claim Awarded – Stop here
Claim denied – Go to step 6
File Lawsuit for Damages
Here is the link to the Insurance Policies. Look through each one in order to find the policy that covers your location.
Important: Please note these are templates to work off of, YOU MUST adjust the wordage accordingly to the names of your public officials and location information. This letter of intent was written for the public officials in Mendocino County. Please go through and read all the pages and make the appropriate changes before serving your public officials. Do not just copy and paste, it will get you no where and will make you look incompetent if you serve your school board or public officials without making the necessary changes.
California School District Violations and California Education Codes
If you are looking for school district violations please look at the copy of the speech that was read to our School District in Mendocino County on the night we served the lawful notice. It contains all of the school specific California Education codes. Again, please note this is a template, read through the pages and make the necessary adjustments to your specific location.
School District Speech - District Violations and California Education Codes