Helping Our Peninsula's Environment


Dissolving a Criminal California Corporation

by David Dilworth 2002

"To the extent commerce is ungoverned

- commerce governs." 

California law (and laws in 48 other states) allows you, an individual citizen and non-lawyer, to dissolve any California Corporation which has broken the law.

There are just three major steps.

1) Write a petition to the California Attorney General documenting the criminal convictions (civil violations may work but is less persuasive).

2) The Attorney General has 30 days to respond and file a case against the criminal corporation. If they file suit under 1801 (text below) then you can begin research on another criminal corporation.

3) If after 30 days the Attorney General does not file suit against the criminal corporation, then you have the right to file the suit yourself in any California Superior Court.


If you have adequately documented the criminal convictions of the corporation you may have a winning suit. The more criminal convictions, the more likely a judge is to agree with you.

For example several TOSCO employees have been killed by explosions while working. The Film Erin Brockovich exposed PG&E's use of hexavalent Chromium which may have killed residents of Hinkley when it got into their groundwater. As far as I know there are no criminal convictions for those deaths. Other corporations may have a laundry list of criminal violations.

* I strongly urge you to have an attorney highly experienced in civil procedure as you can expect a criminal corporation to play very dirty and throw every legal technicality at you.



California Corporations Code Section 1801 --

1801. (a) The Attorney General may bring an action against any domestic corporation or purported domestic corporation in the name of the people of this state, upon the Attorney General's own information or upon complaint of a private party, to procure a judgment dissolving the corporation and annulling, vacating or forfeiting its corporate existence upon any of the following grounds:

(1) The corporation has seriously offended against any provision of the statutes regulating corporations.

(2) The corporation has fraudulently abused or usurped corporate privileges or powers.

(3) The corporation has violated any provision of law by any act or default which under the law is a ground for forfeiture of corporate existence.

(4) The corporation has failed to pay to the Franchise Tax Board for a period of five years any tax imposed upon it by the Bank and Corporation Tax Law.

(b) If the ground of the action is a matter or act which the corporation has done or omitted to do that can be corrected by amendment of its articles or by other corporate action, such suit shall not be maintained unless (1) the Attorney General, at least 30 days prior to the institution of suit, has given the corporation written notice of the matter or act done or omitted to be done and (2) the corporation has failed to institute proceedings to correct it within the 30-day period or thereafter fails to prosecute such proceedings.

(c) In any such action the court may order dissolution or such other or partial relief as it deems just and expedient. The court also may appoint a receiver for winding up the affairs of the corporation or may order that the corporation be wound up by its board subject to the supervision of the court.

(d) Service of process on the corporation may be made pursuant to Chapter 17 or by written notice to the president or secretary of the corporation at the address indicated in the corporation's last tax return filed pursuant to the Bank and Corporation Tax Law. The Attorney General shall also publish one time in a newspaper of general circulation in the proper county a notice to the shareholders of the corporation.


Click here to see the steps of how to dissolve a criminal corporation. The examples are for Pennsylvania, but the principles are identical for us in California.

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This Page Last Updated March 3, 2003