Following Miklosy v. Regents of the University of California (2008) 44 Cal.4th 876, this decision holds that a governmental entity is immune from suit under Gov. Code 815(a) for the conduct of its employees or agents which could constitute a tort only if done by the governmental entity itself. In Miklosy, the Supreme Court applied that principle to hold that the governmental entity could not be sued for the Tameny tort of termination of employment in violation of public policy, since only the employer (the entity) and not its employees or agents who carry out the termination may be held liable for the tort. Here, the decision applies the same principle to hold that the State Controller is immune from an abuse of process suit based on its employees and agents allegedly misusing discovery in a civil action to audit the plaintiff’s records for unclaimed property. Only the Controller may audit for unclaimed property. Its employees and agents cannot be held liable in tort for wrongfully aiding the Controller’s audit. So the Controller herself is also immune from suit.
California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2 (Kline, P.J.); January 8, 2019; 31 Cal. App. 5th 26