Governor Newsom Extends the Statute of Limitations for Peace Officer Misconduct Investigations by 60 Days Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 30, 2020, Governor Newsom, through Executive Order N-40-20 (“Executive Order”), extended the deadline for completing peace officer misconduct investigations under Government Code section 3304(d) by 60 days. This Alert briefly discusses the Executive Order’s extension of the one-year statute of limitations imposed on law enforcement and public safety agencies involved in peace officer misconduct investigations.
Statute of Limitations Period Under Government Code Section 3304
The Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (“POBRA”) gives peace officers procedural rights in discipline and discharge matters. One of these rights is the right to a speedy investigation if accused of misconduct. In particular, Government Code section 3304(d)(1) requires law enforcement and public safety agencies investigating misconduct by a peace officer to complete their investigation and notify the officer of any proposed discipline within one year of discovering the allegations.
Paragraph 15 of the Executive Order states that “The deadline specified in Government Code section 3304(d) for opening and completing investigations of alleged misconduct by [peace] officers is extended by 60 days.” The one-year statute of limitations begins to run from the date of discovery made by a person authorized to initiate an investigation into the alleged misconduct. (Gov. Code § 3304(d)(1).) Thus, Paragraph 15 of the Executive Order extends the one-year statute of limitations by another 60 days for any ongoing/pending administrative investigations.
Law enforcement and public safety agencies should take note of this extension for any ongoing/pending administrative investigations. For more information about this matter, law enforcement and public safety agencies are encouraged to reach out to AALRR.
 Gov. Code §§ 3300-3313.