The FTB normally has four years from the filing date to asses taxes. If they feel there is an abusive tax avoidance issue they have up to 8 years.
I would with you that it appears, according to your facts that the statute would proctect you however, the CA FTB is exceptionally diligent when it come to the process of collecting taxes. It would be a rare occurence for them to miss any notification deadlines. Here is a link to some FTB information relating to this issue:
As you will see if you moved or for some reason did not get the notices sent, they deem they have notified you. I would also agree with you that this is unfair, but it is their practice.
Unfortunately, the burden of proof is on the taxpayer see Paragraph 8 in the following link.:
If you are lookking to me for legal advice, I cannot do that as I am not an attorney. At this point your best bet would be to call the FTB. Here are some of the phone #'s I use with regularity and do get through fairly easily.
Collection Contact Center . (800)(NNN) NNN-NNNNif this # XXXXX not work try (NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>
If neither of those works try this link:
Here is where I go to Find someone at the FTB
I hope this gives you what you were looking for. I appreciate the opprtunity to be of service.