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California Easements and Boundaries: Law and Litigation

Succeed with this incomparable resource with numerous forms for drafting or litigating easements and related rights.

“I do not often deal with easement problems, and when I do, I am usually surprised by how unsatisfactorily the law is laid out. But no more! Professor French’s presentation in Chapter 1, ‘The Basics,’ is spectacular in its organization and clarity.”
Jim Moses, Banks & Watson, Sacramento

Succeed with this incomparable resource with numerous forms for drafting or litigating easements and related rights.

  • Fully grasp basic easement law and The Restatement
  • Review drought relief laws' effects on water rights
  • Litigate equitable easements and adjacent property rights
  • Draft notices under Good Neighbor Fence Act
  • Master the governing law of road and railroad easements
  • Prepare development, conservation, and utility easements
  • Effectively litigate boundary and neighbor disputes
  • Confidently advise on the role of title insurance
  • Apply public trust doctrine to limit easement rights
  • Understand mineral, water, and airport easements
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“I do not often deal with easement problems, and when I do, I am usually surprised by how unsatisfactorily the law is laid out. But no more! Professor French’s presentation in Chapter 1, ‘The Basics,’ is spectacular in its organization and clarity.”
Jim Moses, Banks & Watson, Sacramento

Succeed with this incomparable resource with numerous forms for drafting or litigating easements and related rights.

  • Fully grasp basic easement law and The Restatement
  • Review drought relief laws' effects on water rights
  • Litigate equitable easements and adjacent property rights
  • Draft notices under Good Neighbor Fence Act
  • Master the governing law of road and railroad easements
  • Prepare development, conservation, and utility easements
  • Effectively litigate boundary and neighbor disputes
  • Confidently advise on the role of title insurance
  • Apply public trust doctrine to limit easement rights
  • Understand mineral, water, and airport easements

1

Basic Easement Law: California and the Restatement (Third) of Property: Servitudes

Susan F. French

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Easement Defined  1.1
    • B.  Define and Distinguish: Affirmative Easements, Profits à Prendre, Licenses, Franchises, Leases, and Covenants  1.2
      • 1.  Affirmative Easements  1.3
      • 2.  Profits à Prendre  1.4
      • 3.  Licenses and Franchises  1.5
      • 4.  Leases  1.6
      • 5.  Covenants  1.7
    • C.  Negative Easements and Restrictive Covenants: Functionally Identical But Historically Different  1.8
    • D.  Conservation Easements  1.9
    • E.  Easement Terminology  1.10
    • F.  Sources of California Easement Law  1.11
    • G.  Uses of Easements and Profits  1.12
  • II.  CREATION OF EASEMENTS  1.13
    • A.  Persons Who May Create Easements
      • 1.  Creator Must Own or Have Power Over Servient Estate  1.14
      • 2.  All Co-Owners of Servient Estate Must Join to Create Easement  1.15
      • 3.  An Easement May Be Created to Benefit Any Estate in Land or Another Easement  1.16
      • 4.  Servient Estate Must Be Land  1.17
      • 5.  An Easement May Be Created to Benefit a Third Party  1.18
      • 6.  Restrictions on Creation by Owner of Dominant and Servient Estates  1.19
    • B.  Methods of Creating Easements
      • 1.  Express Creation by Written Instrument  1.20
      • 2.  Oral Grant of Easement  1.21
      • 3.  Estoppel  1.22
      • 4.  Implication  1.23
        • a.  On Basis of Prior Use  1.24
          • (1)  Use Must Be Apparent or Visible  1.25
          • (2)  Underground Utilities  1.26
        • b.  On Basis of Reference to a Map or Boundary  1.27
        • c.  On Basis of Necessity  1.28
          • (1)  Common Ownership  1.29
          • (2)  Degree of Necessity  1.30
          • (3)  Statutory Easement by Necessity for Utilities  1.31
      • 5.  Prescription  1.32
        • a.  Prescriptive Use: Hostile and Adverse Use  1.33
        • b.  Open or Notorious  1.34
        • c.  Continued and Uninterrupted  1.35
        • d.  No Prescription Against Public  1.36
        • e.  Differences Between Adverse Use and Adverse Possession  1.37
          • (1)  Payment of Taxes  1.38
          • (2)  Exclusive Use or Possession  1.39
        • f.  Prescriptive Use: Intended But Imperfectly Created Easement  1.40
        • g.  Preventing Prescription by Recording or Posting Notice  1.41
      • 6.  Dedication and Implied Dedication  1.42
      • 7.  Condemnation and Inverse Condemnation  1.43
      • 8.  Equitable Easements and Balancing Hardships: Judicial Refusal to Enjoin Repeated Trespass  1.44
  • III.  INTERPRETATION OF EASEMENTS  1.45
    • A.  Duration  1.46
    • B.  Determining Whether Benefit Is Appurtenant, in Gross, or Personal  1.47
    • C.  Transferability of Easements  1.48
    • D.  Physical Scope: Location, Relocation, and Dimensions
      • 1.  Initial Location  1.49
      • 2.  Relocation  1.50
      • 3.  Dimensions  1.51
    • E.  Scope of Use; Rights of Servient Owner and Easement Holder  1.52
    • F.  Property That May Be Served by Appurtenant Easement  1.53
    • G.  Repair and Maintenance  1.54
  • IV.  SUCCESSION TO EASEMENT BENEFITS AND BURDENS  1.55
    • A.  Burdens  1.56
    • B.  Appurtenant Benefits  1.57
    • C.  Subdivision of Property Burdened or Benefited by Easement  1.58
      • 1.  Subdivision of Servient Estate  1.59
      • 2.  Subdivision of Dominant Estate  1.60
    • D.  Benefits in Gross
      • 1.  Assignment of Entire Benefits  1.61
      • 2.  Division of Benefits in Gross  1.62
  • V.  MODIFICATION AND TERMINATION OF EASEMENTS  1.63
    • A.  Voluntary Modification or Termination  1.64
      • 1.  Release and Abandonment  1.65
      • 2.  Merger  1.66
    • B.  Involuntary Modification and Termination
      • 1.  Easement by Necessity  1.67
      • 2.  Estoppel  1.68
      • 3.  Prescription  1.69
      • 4.  Condemnation  1.70
      • 5.  Recording Act  1.71
    • C.  Judicial Modification and Termination
      • 1.  Changed Conditions; Frustration of Purpose
        • a.  Easements in General  1.72
        • b.  Conservation Easements  1.73
      • 2.  Benefits in Gross  1.74
  • VI.  ACTIONS TO ESTABLISH AND ENFORCE EASEMENTS
    • A.  Actions to Establish and Determine Scope of Easements  1.75
    • B.  Actions for Excessive and Unauthorized Uses of Easements  1.76
    • C.  Actions for Unreasonable Interference With Easement  1.77

2

Development Easements

Neal A. Parish

David L. Press

Carolyn J. Stein

Stephen Stwora-Hail

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  2.1
    • A.  Historical Overview  2.2
      • 1.  Statutory Law  2.3
      • 2.  Common Law  2.4
    • B.  Modern Imposition of Restrictions and Obligations  2.5
  • II.  CREATION OF DEVELOPMENT EASEMENTS
    • A.  Government-Required Easements  2.6
    • B.  Authority for Government-Required Easements
      • 1.  Constitutional Authority
        • a.  California Constitution and the Police Power  2.7
        • b.  Constitutional Limitations  2.8
      • 2.  Statutory Power
        • a.  Subdivision Map Act
          • (1)  Local Development Conditions  2.9
          • (2)  Tentative and Final Maps  2.10
        • b.  Planning and Zoning Laws  2.11
      • 3.  Agreements and Offers by Developer
        • a.  Development Agreements  2.12
        • b.  Offer of Dedication  2.13
      • 4.  Conditions of Approval  2.14
    • C.  Private Easements  2.15
  • III.  SCOPE OF DEVELOPMENT EASEMENTS  2.16
    • A.  Use  2.17
    • B.  Who Uses; Exclusivity  2.18
    • C.  Location and Relocation  2.19
    • D.  Dimensions  2.20
    • E.  Duration  2.21
  • IV.  PARTICULAR TYPES OF DEVELOPMENT EASEMENTS
    • A.  Streets, Gutters, Curbs, Sidewalks, and Lighting  2.22
    • B.  Utilities  2.23
    • C.  Landscaping  2.24
    • D.  Ingress and Egress; Emergency Vehicle Access
      • 1.  Importance of Ingress and Egress  2.25
      • 2.  Common Areas  2.26
      • 3.  Exclusive-Use Common Areas in Common Interest Developments  2.27
      • 4.  Emergency Vehicle Access  2.28
      • 5.  Access to Recreational Areas  2.28A
    • E.  Parking  2.29
      • 1.  Off-Site Parking  2.30
      • 2.  Reciprocal Parking Rights  2.31
      • 3.  Exclusive Easements  2.32
    • F.  Stormwater Runoff, Drainage, and Retention  2.33
    • G.  Signage  2.34
    • H.  Construction  2.35
    • I.  Side Yards and Setbacks  2.36
    • J.  Negative Easements  2.37
    • K.  Avigation Easements  2.37A
    • L.  Collaborative Land Use Easements  2.37B
  • V.  LIABILITY ISSUES  2.38
    • A.  Public and Private Streets
      • 1.  Responsibility for Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement  2.39
      • 2.  Government Liability to Third Parties  2.40
      • 3.  Developer Liability to Third Parties  2.41
      • 4.  Government’s Rights With Respect to Encroachments  2.42
      • 5.  Government’s Liability to Abutting Owners  2.43
    • B.  Sidewalks and Parkways
      • 1.  Responsibility for Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement  2.44
      • 2.  Liability to Third Parties  2.45
    • C.  Utilities
      • 1.  Utility’s Liability to Third Parties  2.46
      • 2.  Developer’s Liability for Design or Construction Defects  2.47
    • D.  Other Development Easements
      • 1.  Responsibility for Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement  2.48
      • 2.  Government’s Liability to Third Parties for Torts and Nuisance  2.49
      • 3.  Developer’s Liability to Third Parties  2.50
      • 4.  Developer’s Liability to Public Agency  2.51
      • 5.  Easement Holder’s Liability to Owner of Underlying Fee  2.52
      • 6.  Fee Owner’s Liability to Easement Holder  2.53
  • VI.  COVENANTS RUNNING WITH THE LAND  2.54
    • A.  Statutory Authority  2.55
    • B.  Provisions in Grant of Easement
      • 1.  Consideration; Effect of Easement on Property Taxes and Assessments  2.56
      • 2.  Construction, Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement
        • a.  Responsibility and Requirements  2.57
        • b.  Allocation of Costs  2.58
      • 3.  Indemnity  2.59
      • 4.  Insurance  2.60
      • 5.  Damage and Destruction  2.61
      • 6.  Condemnation  2.62
      • 7.  Default and Remedies  2.63
      • 8.  Hazardous Materials  2.64
      • 9.  Miscellaneous Provisions  2.65
        • a.  Termination of Liability  2.66
        • b.  Notices  2.67
        • c.  Term and Termination; Amendments  2.68
  • VII.  FORMS
    • A.  Reciprocal Easement Agreement
      • 1.  Form: Reciprocal Easement Agreement  2.69
      • 2.  Form: Table of Exhibits (Reciprocal Easement)  2.70
    • B.  Utility and Access Easement Agreement
      • 1.  Form: Utility and Access Easement Agreement  2.71
      • 2.  Form: Table of Exhibits (Utility and Access Easement)  2.72
    • C.  Slope and Drainage Easement Agreement
      • 1.  Form: Slope and Drainage Easement Agreement  2.73
      • 2.  Form: Table of Exhibits (Slope and Drainage Easement)  2.74

3

Miscellaneous Easements

David G. Boss

Peter Brian Bothel

Laura S. Lowe

Wendy L. Manley

Edward S. Rusky

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  3.1
  • II.  EASEMENTS TO ACCESS OR EXTRACT OIL, GAS, OR OTHER MINERALS
    • A.  Ownership of Oil, Gas, and Other Minerals  3.2
      • 1.  Separation of Surface and Subsurface Ownership  3.3
      • 2.  No Separation of Surface and Subsurface Ownership  3.4
    • B.  Right of Surface Entry  3.5
    • C.  Mineral Leases  3.6
    • D.  Title Insurance Issues  3.7
  • III.  EASEMENTS RELATING TO WATER RIGHTS
    • A.  Types of Water Rights  3.8
    • B.  Ownership of Water in California  3.9
      • 1.  Riparian and Overlying Rights  3.10
      • 2.  Appropriative Rights Doctrine  3.11
    • C.  Statutory Authority
      • 1.  Right to Take Water as Easement or Profit  3.12
      • 2.  Statutory Appropriative Water Rights  3.13
        • a.  Monitoring and Enforcing Appropriative and Other Rights  3.13A
        • b.  Drought Relief Provisions  3.13B
      • 3.  Statutory Groundwater Management  3.13C
        • a.  Groundwater Management  3.13D
        • b.  Coordination With Land Use Planning  3.13E
        • c.  State Intervention to Manage Groundwater Basin  3.13F
        • d.  Action to Determine Rights to Extract Groundwater  3.13G
      • 4.  Authorizing New Water Sources  3.13H
    • D.  Prescriptive Water Rights  3.14
    • E.  Secondary Easements  3.15
    • F.  Title Insurance Issues  3.16
  • IV.  EASEMENTS RELATING TO TIMBER
    • A.  Ownership of Timber in California  3.17
    • B.  Secondary Easements Supporting Right to Remove Timber  3.18
    • C.  Title Insurance Issues  3.19
  • V.  PUBLIC TRUST; TIDELANDS AND NAVIGABLE WATERS
    • A.  California Trust Purpose and Scope; Federal Regulation  3.20
    • B.  Legal Development of Public Trust Doctrine
      • 1.  State Ownership  3.21
      • 2.  State Jurisdiction Over Public Trust Lands; Federal Preemption  3.22
      • 3.  Permit Conditions May Implement Public Trust Doctrine  3.22A
      • 4.  Land Exchanges May Implement Public Trust Doctrine  3.22B
    • C.  Equitable Estoppel Applicable to Public Trust  3.23
    • D.  Public Trust Interest in Private Lands  3.24
    • E.  Private Landowners’ Littoral Rights  3.24A
  • VI.  AVIGATION EASEMENTS
    • A.  Easement in Gross  3.25
      • 1.  Purpose of Avigation Easement  3.25A
      • 2.  Noise-Sensitive Projects  3.25B
    • B.  Grantors of Avigation Easements  3.26
    • C.  Easement by Condemnation  3.27
    • D.  Easement by Prescription  3.28
    • E.  Regulation of Adjacent Property  3.28A

4

Construction-Related Agreements

Richard M. Shapiro

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  4.1
    • A.  Distinguish Easement, License, Lease  4.2
    • B.  Common Issues in Temporary Use Construction Agreements  4.3
  • II.  TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION-RELATED TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT USES  4.4
    • A.  Access and Site Investigation
      • 1.  Preconstruction Access  4.5
      • 2.  Form: Access Agreement  4.6
      • 3.  Documentation and Monitoring of Adjacent Property
        • a.  Inspection; Survey  4.7
        • b.  Form Provision: License to Monitor Adjacent Property  4.8
      • 4.  Easement Agreements for Public Projects
        • a.  Form: Grant of Temporary Construction Easement  4.8A
        • b.  Form: Grant of Public Service Easement  4.8B
        • c.  Form: Grant of Storm Drain Easement  4.8C
        • d.  Form: Grant of Public Pedestrian Access Easement  4.8D
        • e.  Form: Grant of Temporary Emergency Vehicle Access Easement  4.8E
      • 5.  Subordination Agreements for Public Projects
        • a.  Form: Subordination Agreement (From Deed of Trust Beneficiary)  4.8F
        • b.  Form: Subordination and Waiver Agreement (From Lessee)  4.8G
    • B.  Staging and Scaffolding  4.9
    • C.  Other Airspace Rights  4.10
    • D.  Storage  4.11
    • E.  Utilities
      • 1.  Temporary Utilities  4.12
      • 2.  Blanket Easements for Permanent Utilities  4.13
    • F.  Shoring and Tiebacks  4.14
      • 1.  Issues Related Specifically to Tiebacks and Underpinning  4.15
      • 2.  Form: Underpinning and Tieback Agreement  4.16
    • G.  Railroad Right-of-Way Encroachment  4.17
    • H.  Public Property Encroachment
      • 1.  California Law  4.18
      • 2.  Federal Law  4.18A
  • III.  LIABILITY OF EXCAVATORS
    • A.  Owner’s Liability at Common Law  4.19
    • B.  Owner’s Liability for Its Contractor’s Activities  4.20
    • C.  Statutory Liability Under CC §832  4.21
      • 1.  Advance Notice Required  4.22
      • 2.  Requirements for Excavations Deeper Than Nine Feet  4.23
      • 3.  Form: Notice of Intended Excavation  4.24
  • IV.  COMMON ISSUES IN DRAFTING CONSTRUCTION-RELATED AGREEMENTS
    • A.  Description of Activity Permitted  4.25
    • B.  Parties Related to the Property Burdened  4.26
    • C.  Parties Related to the Property Benefited  4.27
    • D.  Issues Related to Affected Property
      • 1.  Property Description  4.28
      • 2.  Property Condition  4.29
    • E.  Term of Agreement; Delays  4.30
    • F.  Indemnity  4.31
    • G.  Waiver  4.32
    • H.  Insurance
      • 1.  Liability Insurance  4.33
      • 2.  Additional Insureds  4.34
      • 3.  Construction Bonds  4.34A
  • V.  REMEDIES FOR WRONGFUL OCCUPANCY
    • A.  Encroachments  4.35
      • 1.  Remedies for Encroachment  4.36
      • 2.  Statute of Limitations  4.37
    • B.  Remedies for Trespass  4.38
    • C.  Remedies for Nuisance  4.39
  • VI.  REMEDIES IN LIEU OF ACCESS OR USE AGREEMENT
    • A.  Private Eminent Domain  4.40
    • B.  Private Necessity  4.41

5

Utility Easements and Access Rights

Andrew K. Rauch

Jerome F. Candelaria

John Davidson Thomas

Paul A. Werner III

  • I.  OVERHEAD EASEMENTS
    • A.  Nature of Easement; Methods of Creation  5.1
    • B.  Rights and Obligations of Easement Holder  5.2
    • C.  Rights of Servient Owner  5.3
    • D.  Limits on Rights to Sue for Electromagnetic Fields
      • 1.  Nature of Claim  5.4
      • 2.  Statutory Limits  5.5
      • 3.  Personal Injury Litigation  5.6
  • II.  SUBSURFACE EASEMENTS
    • A.  Nature of Easement; Methods of Creation  5.7
    • B.  Rights and Obligations of Easement Holder  5.8
    • C.  Rights of Servient Owner  5.9
  • III.  UTILITY EASEMENTS: NATURE AND SCOPE  5.10
  • IV.  USE OF PUBLIC STREETS UNDER FRANCHISES FOR UTILITY SERVICES
    • A.  Franchise Rights Granted by Cities or Counties  5.11
    • B.  Franchise Rights Granted by State to Cities or Counties  5.11A
    • C.  Franchise Rights for Telecommunication Companies  5.12
    • D.  Scope of Franchise Rights; Relocation Obligations  5.13
  • V.  RIGHTS OF PRIVATE PARTIES TO OBTAIN UTILITY EASEMENT  5.14
  • VI.  RIGHTS-OF-WAY, FRANCHISES, AND EASEMENTS FOR CABLE TELEVISION SYSTEMS
    • A.  Nature and Use  5.15
    • B.  California Governing Law  5.16
      • 1.  State and Local Law Regarding Rights-of-Way, Franchises, and Easements  5.17
      • 2.  State Pole-Attachment Law  5.18
    • C.  Federal Law Governing Cable Operators  5.19
      • 1.  Federal Cable Franchise Law  5.20
      • 2.  Federal Pole-Attachment Law  5.21
        • a.  Establishment of Regulation by State—Federal “Reverse Preemption”  5.22
        • b.  California Poles, Conduits, and Rights-of-Way Regulated by CPUC  5.23
        • c.  Substantive Areas of Regulation and Regulatory Enforcement: Rates, Terms, and Conditions  5.24
  • VII.  DRAFTING UTILITY EASEMENTS; ADDITIONAL CLAUSES  5.25
  • VIII.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Utility Distribution Easement Grant Deed  5.26
    • B.  Form: Joint Use and Easement Relocation Agreement  5.27
    • C.  Form: Drainage and Construction Easement Agreement  5.28
    • D.  Form: Utility Easement Agreement for Underground Transmission of Electricity  5.29

6

Conservation Easements

James L. Pierce

Jessica Rader

  • I.  OVERVIEW
    • A.  Conservation and Greenway Easements Defined  6.1
    • B.  Checklist: Negotiating and Drafting Conservation Easements  6.1A
  • II.  CHARACTERISTIC VALUES OF CONSERVATION AND GREENWAY EASEMENTS  6.2
    • A.  Ecological Values  6.3
    • B.  Open-Space Values  6.4
    • C.  Historic Values and Tribal Cultural Resources  6.5
    • D.  Agricultural Use Values  6.6
      • 1.  Scope of Agricultural Conservation Easement  6.7
      • 2.  Form Provision: Changed Economic Circumstances  6.8
    • E.  Farmland Mitigation Values  6.8A
    • F.  Conversion From Agricultural Use to Solar Energy Use  6.8B
    • G.  Particular Characteristics of Greenway Easements  6.8C
  • III.  PARTIES TO CONSERVATION EASEMENT
    • A.  Property Owner  6.9
    • B.  Easement Holder  6.10
    • C.  Meeting Grantee’s Criteria for Acceptance  6.11
    • D.  Educating Property Owner  6.12
    • E.  Subsequent Grantees  6.13
  • IV.  TAX BENEFITS OF CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
    • A.  Types of Available Tax Benefits  6.14
    • B.  Federal Tax Benefits
      • 1.  Income Tax  6.15
        • a.  Deductibility Requirements for Donated Open-Space Easements  6.16
        • b.  Significant Public Benefit of Open-Space Donation  6.17
        • c.  Form Provision: Public Policy Recitals  6.18
      • 2.  Estate Tax  6.19
    • C.  State and Local Tax Benefits
      • 1.  State Income Tax  6.20
      • 2.  Property Tax  6.21
  • V.  ACQUISITION ISSUES
    • A.  Baseline Data  6.22
      • 1.  Need for Baseline Data  6.23
      • 2.  Basic Legal Requirements  6.24
      • 3.  Written Text  6.25
      • 4.  Photographs  6.26
    • B.  Appraisal Requirement
      • 1.  Establishing Value of Easement  6.27
      • 2.  Qualified Appraisals and Appraisers  6.28
    • C.  Title Report  6.29
    • D.  Subordination  6.30
    • E.  Recordation and Notice  6.31
  • VI.  MONITORING AND ENFORCING CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
    • A.  Clarity in Easement Language  6.32
    • B.  Funding Costs of Monitoring and Enforcing the Easement  6.33
    • C.  Easement Violations
      • 1.  Communication Between the Parties  6.34
      • 2.  Alternative Dispute Resolution Versus Litigation  6.35
    • D.  Subsequent Landowners  6.36
  • VII.  DRAFTING CONSERVATION EASEMENTS  6.37
    • A.  Recitals  6.38
    • B.  Basic Terms  6.39
    • C.  Public Access; Prerequisite to Tax Deductibility  6.40
    • D.  Duration
      • 1.  Perpetual Grant  6.41
      • 2.  Exceptions to Perpetual Grant
        • a.  Easement Turned Fee  6.42
        • b.  Foreclosure by Nonsubordinated Lender  6.43
        • c.  Eminent Domain  6.44
      • 3.  Extinguishment of Easement  6.44A
    • E.  Option to Purchase Perpetual Easement; Temporary Easement  6.45
    • F.  Amending Conservation Easements
      • 1.  General Rule Against Amending  6.46
      • 2.  Reasons to Amend  6.47
      • 3.  How to Amend  6.48
  • VIII.  FORM EASEMENT
    • A.  Conservation Easement Forms Vary  6.49
    • B.  Form: Grant Deed and Conservation Easement and Agreement  6.50

7

Road and Railroad Easements

William H. Lynes

David G. Boss

  • I.  OVERVIEW
    • A.  Public Benefit  7.1
    • B.  Easement or Fee Estate?  7.2
  • II.  PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY AND EASEMENTS  7.3
    • A.  Creation of Street Easements  7.4
      • 1.  Dedication  7.5
        • a.  Dedication Law and Contract Law Compared  7.6
        • b.  Statutory Dedications; Subdivision Map Act  7.7
          • (1)  Express Dedications Under Map Act  7.8
          • (2)  Implied Dedications Under Map Act  7.9
          • (3)  Issues Arising From Statutory Dedications  7.10
        • c.  Common Law Dedications  7.11
        • d.  Acceptance of Maintenance Obligation  7.12
      • 2.  Condemnation  7.13
      • 3.  Purchase and Deed  7.14
      • 4.  Statutory Grant on Federal Land  7.15
        • a.  RS 2477 Roads  7.16
        • b.  Section Line Roads  7.17
      • 5.  Less Common Methods of Creation
        • a.  Roads Dedicated by Government on Proprietary Property  7.18
        • b.  Roads Created by Partition Actions  7.19
    • B.  Transfer of Street Easements
      • 1.  Relinquishment  7.20
      • 2.  Incorporation and Annexation  7.21
    • C.  Determination of Easement or Fee  7.22
      • 1.  Statutory Limitations Defining the Acquired Estate  7.23
        • a.  Estate or Interest Acquired by Deed  7.24
        • b.  Estate or Interest Acquired by Condemnation  7.25
        • c.  Estate or Interest Acquired by Dedication  7.26
      • 2.  Interpretation of Deeds and Decrees  7.27
    • D.  Competing Rights in Street Easements
      • 1.  Before Acceptance  7.28
      • 2.  After Acceptance and Opening  7.29
      • 3.  After Vacating Public Use Easement  7.30
      • 4.  Abutter’s Rights and Access  7.31
    • E.  Scope of Easement: Physical Dimensions and Boundaries  7.32
      • 1.  Vertical and Horizontal Dimensions of Easements  7.33
        • a.  Height of Easement Above Street Surface  7.34
        • b.  Depth of Easement Below Street Surface  7.35
        • c.  Width of Easement  7.36
      • 2.  Ownership Presumed to Center Line of Street  7.37
        • a.  CC §831: Law of Monuments  7.38
        • b.  CC §1112: Law of Appurtenances  7.39
        • c.  CCP §2077: Rules of Construction  7.40
      • 3.  Rebutting Presumption of Ownership to Center Line  7.41
        • a.  Use of Metes and Bounds Description; Fee Title Exception  7.42
        • b.  Marginal Street Doctrine  7.43
        • c.  Tract Maps Excluding Street  7.44
      • 4.  Title Insurance Coverage of Adjoining Streets  7.45
    • F.  Termination of Street Easements  7.46
      • 1.  Nonuse and Adverse Possession  7.47
      • 2.  The Vacation Process  7.48
      • 3.  Challenges to Vacation  7.49
  • III.  RAILROAD RIGHTS-OF-WAY AND EASEMENTS  7.50
    • A.  Creation of Railroad Easements  7.51
      • 1.  Purchase and Deed  7.52
      • 2.  Condemnation  7.53
      • 3.  Adverse Possession  7.54
      • 4.  Legislative Grant  7.55
        • a.  Congressional Grant  7.56
        • b.  State Lands of California  7.57
    • B.  Transfer of Railroad Easements  7.58
    • C.  Determination of Easement or Fee  7.59
      • 1.  Title Acquired by Deed  7.60
      • 2.  Title Acquired by Condemnation  7.61
      • 3.  Interests Acquired by Adverse Use  7.62
      • 4.  Title Acquired by Legislative Grant  7.63
    • D.  Scope of Railroad Easements: Competing Use Tensions  7.64
      • 1.  Rights of Adjoining Landowners in the Railroad Right-of-Way  7.65
      • 2.  Railroad Grants of Lesser Rights to Third Parties  7.66
      • 3.  Evolution in Uses  7.67
    • E.  Scope of the Railroad Easement: Physical Boundaries  7.68
    • F.  Termination or Interim Use of Railroad Easements  7.69
      • 1.  Government Regulation of Abandonment  7.70
        • a.  Rails to Trails; Interim Use and Takings Claims  7.71
        • b.  Special Rules for the Abandonment of Congressional Grant Rights-of-Way  7.72
      • 2.  Termination Under State and Federal Substantive Law  7.73
      • 3.  Posttermination Issues  7.74
        • a.  Subdivision Map Act  7.75
        • b.  Environmental Cleanup Liability  7.76
  • IV.  PRIVATE STREET EASEMENTS
    • A.  In General  7.77
    • B.  Types and Methods of Creation  7.78
    • C.  Competing Interests of Dominant and Servient Owners  7.79
    • D.  Termination  7.80
  • V.  BICYCLE RIGHTS-OF-WAY
    • A.  Classes of Bikeways  7.81
    • B.  Creation and Design of Bikeways  7.82
    • C.  Protecting Persons With Disabilities  7.83

8

Boundary Easements and Neighboring Property Rights

Laurence L. Hummer

Daniel L. Goodkin

  • I.  CHAPTER SCOPE  8.1
  • II.  PARTY WALLS  8.2
    • A.  History of Party Walls  8.3
    • B.  Created by Agreement or by Law  8.4
      • 1.  Drafting Express Agreements  8.5
      • 2.  Party Wall Rights and Duties Created by Law (Implied Agreements)  8.6
    • C.  Extension of Party Wall  8.7
    • D.  Interpreting Party Wall Agreements  8.8
    • E.  Destruction of Servient Tenement  8.9
    • F.  Party Walls in Condominium Projects  8.10
    • G.  Form: Party Wall Agreement  8.11
  • III.  LATERAL SUPPORT  8.12
    • A.  Statutory Law  8.13
    • B.  Distinction Between Natural and Artificial Conditions  8.14
    • C.  Liability of Upper and Lower Property Owners  8.15
    • D.  Tieback Agreements  8.16
    • E.  Remedial Action by Public Entity to Avoid Impending Peril  8.17
    • F.  Injunctive Relief  8.18
    • G.  Rights Under CC §1002  8.19
  • IV.  BOUNDARY DISPUTES AND ENCROACHMENTS; FENCES, HEDGES, AND WALLS
    • A.  Identifying Boundary Disputes and Encroachments   8.20
    • B.  Resolving Boundary and Encroachment Disputes
      • 1.  Agreed Boundary Doctrine  8.21
      • 2.  Adverse Possession  8.22
      • 3.  Prescriptive Easement  8.23
      • 4.  Quieting Title  8.23A
      • 5.  Doctrine of Relative Hardships
        • a.  Equitable Easements  8.24
        • b.  Extent of Court’s Discretion  8.25
      • 6.  Good Faith Improver Statute  8.26
      • 7.  Invoking Statute of Limitations  8.27
    • C.  Maintenance of Boundary Fences, Hedges, and Walls
      • 1.  Good Neighbor Fence Act of 2013  8.28
      • 2.  Notice of Intention to Incur Costs for Boundary Fence (Good Neighbor Fence Act)  8.28A
      • 3.  Maintenance and Liability Obligations of Easement Holders Distinguished  8.29
      • 4.  Boundary Trees  8.30
    • D.  Spite Fences: State Law and Local Fence and Hedge Law Ordinances   8.31
  • V.  ENCROACHMENT AND LICENSE AGREEMENTS
    • A.  Legal Principles
      • 1.  Encroachment Principles and Characteristics  8.32
      • 2.  License Principles and Characteristics  8.32A
    • B.  Types of Encroachments  8.33
    • C.  Examples of Encroachment and License Agreements  8.34
    • D.  Negotiating and Drafting Encroachment or License Agreements  8.35
  • VI.  NEGOTIATED LOT LINE ADJUSTMENTS
    • A.  Coordination Among Property Owners and Public Entities  8.35A
      • 1.  Avoiding Liability Under Subdivision Map Act  8.35B
      • 2.  Local Agency Approval  8.35C
      • 3.  Conservation Areas, Mobilehomes, Manufactured Housing  8.35D
    • B.  Other Approvals and Costs
      • 1.  Lenders Holding Security Interests  8.35E
      • 2.  Survey; Certificate of Compliance  8.35F
    • C.  Delivery and Recordation of Documents  8.35G
    • D.  Samples of Local Forms
      • 1.  Form: Request for Lot Line Adjustment and Certificate of Compliance  8.35H
      • 2.  Form: Lot Line Adjustment Application  8.35I
  • VII.  NEGATIVE EASEMENTS, CC&Rs, AND LOCAL ORDINANCES   8.36
    • A.  CC&Rs and Local Ordinances  8.37
    • B.  Solar Easements  8.38
  • VIII.  EASEMENTS CREATED BY OPERATION OF LAW  8.38A
    • A.  Easement by Necessity  8.39
    • B.  Easement by Implication  8.40
    • C.  Easements by Eminent Domain  8.41
      • 1.  For Utilities  8.42
      • 2.  For Access to Make Repairs  8.43
    • D.  Easements by Implied Dedication  8.43A
  • IX.  DRAFTING EASEMENT AND LICENSE AGREEMENTS  8.44
    • A.  Historical Background  8.45
    • B.  Modern View  8.46
    • C.  Drafting Easement Agreements; Recordation  8.47
      • 1.  Recitals; Surveys; Drawings  8.48
      • 2.  Granting Clause for Appurtenant Easement  8.49
        • a.  Exclusive Versus Nonexclusive  8.50
        • b.  Scope  8.51
        • c.  Easement for Parking  8.52
        • d.  Caution Regarding References to “Land”  8.53
      • 3.  Duration
        • a.  Marketable Record Title Act  8.54
        • b.  Covenants Running With the Land  8.55
      • 4.  Subordination; Title Insurance  8.56
    • D.  Drafting License Agreements  8.57
    • E.  Other Provisions of Easement and License Agreements  8.58
    • F.  Easement Agreement
      • 1.  Form: Title and Introductory Paragraph  8.59
      • 2.  Form: Recitals  8.60
      • 3.  Form: Introduction to Provisions of Agreement  8.61
      • 4.  Form: Granting Clause  8.62
      • 5.  Form: General Reservation Clause  8.63
      • 6.  Form: Duration Clause  8.64
      • 7.  Form: Subordination  8.65
      • 8.  Form: Signatures  8.66
    • G.  Form: License Agreement  8.67

9

Title, Survey, and Title Insurance Issues

Laura S. Lowe

David G. Boss

Peter Brian Bothel

Cynthia K. Long

  • I.  ROLE OF ATTORNEY: REVIEWING TITLE AND RESOLVING PROBLEMS
    • A.  Inspecting Title Documents and Property  9.1
    • B.  Reviewing Preliminary Reports  9.2
      • 1.  Exception Documents  9.3
      • 2.  Easements Burdening the Property  9.4
      • 3.  Easements Benefiting the Property  9.5
        • a.  Access  9.6
        • b.  Utilities  9.7
        • c.  Common Areas  9.8
    • C.  Resolving Problems  9.9
      • 1.  Terminating Easements  9.10
        • a.  Quitclaim Deed  9.11
        • b.  Vacating  9.12
        • c.  Relocating  9.13
        • d.  Abandonment  9.14
      • 2.  Creating Easements  9.15
  • II.  SURVEYS
    • A.  ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Standards  9.16
    • B.  Aerial Surveys  9.17
    • C.  Surveys of Record Easements  9.18
      • 1.  Location  9.19
      • 2.  Dimensions  9.20
      • 3.  Affected Properties  9.21
      • 4.  Conflicting or Concurrent Uses May Be Excepted From Coverage  9.22
      • 5.  Encroachments Onto Easement Area  9.23
    • D.  Surveys May Reveal Unrecorded Easements  9.24
      • 1.  Surveys Showing Evidence of Possession  9.25
      • 2.  Surveys Locating Utilities  9.26
      • 3.  Surveys Locating Driveways, Parking Spaces, Curbs  9.27
      • 4.  Encroachments Onto Property  9.28
  • III.  RECORDATION ISSUES
    • A.  Constructive Notice; Indexing  9.29
    • B.  Margins for Recordation of Data and Photographic Reproduction  9.30
    • C.  Accurate Identification of Grantor and Grantee  9.31
    • D.  Legibility of Text  9.32
    • E.  Signatures of Grantor and Grantee  9.33
    • F.  Acknowledgment of Signatures  9.34
    • G.  Document in English  9.35
  • IV.  TITLE INSURANCE FOR EASEMENTS BENEFITING REAL PROPERTY
    • A.  Why Title Insurance Is Necessary  9.36
    • B.  Structure of Title Insurance Policies  9.37
    • C.  Common Risks That Cloud Title  9.38
      • 1.  Foreclosure Risk  9.39
      • 2.  Easements Extinguished by Merger  9.40
      • 3.  Vague or Incomplete Legal Descriptions  9.41
    • D.  Insuring Easement Specifically  9.42
    • E.  Scope and Use Disputes Not Insured  9.43
    • F.  Creating Insurable Easement  9.44
    • G.  Commonly Insured Easements  9.45
    • H.  Endorsements That Enhance Coverage for Insured Easements  9.46
      • 1.  Access Endorsements  9.47
      • 2.  Contiguity Endorsements  9.48
      • 3.  Zoning Endorsements  9.49
  • V.  EASEMENTS AS EXCEPTIONS IN TITLE POLICIES
    • A.  Schedule B Exceptions  9.50
    • B.  Reviewing Easements Excepted From Coverage  9.51
    • C.  Expanding Coverage With Endorsements  9.52
      • 1.  Comprehensive Endorsements  9.53
      • 2.  Other Easement-Related Endorsements  9.54
  • VI.  EASEMENTS AND TITLE INSURANCE CLAIMS
    • A.  Defense Obligations  9.55
    • B.  Measure of Loss for Easement Claims  9.56

10

Litigating Easement and Boundary Disputes

Jeffrey N. Garland

Elizabeth C. Gianola

Alice M. Graham

David L. Roth

Jason L. Satterly

  • I.  INTRODUCTION; CHAPTER SCOPE  10.1
  • II.  INITIAL CLIENT CONSULTATION  10.2
    • A.  Instructions to Client to Prepare for Initial Consultation  10.3
    • B.  Conduct of Initial Consultation  10.4
    • C.  Issues to Consider During Initial Consultation  10.5
      • 1.  Early Retention of Experts  10.6
      • 2.  Prevalence of Mistaken Ideas About the Law  10.7
      • 3.  Insurance Coverage  10.8
      • 4.  Handling Client’s Emotional Issues  10.9
    • D.  Options for Resolving Easement and Boundary Disputes  10.10
    • E.  Checklist: Dos and Don’ts in Boundary Location and Encroachment Disputes  10.11
  • III.  RESEARCHING LOCAL ORDINANCES  10.12
    • A.  Ordinances Governing Construction  10.13
    • B.  Heritage Tree Ordinances  10.14
    • C.  View Ordinances  10.15
    • D.  Ordinance Enforcement  10.16
    • E.  Accessing Municipal Codes  10.17
  • IV.  INSURANCE ISSUES  10.18
    • A.  Giving Notice of Claim and Tendering Defense  10.19
    • B.  Differences Between Title Insurance and Other Insurance  10.20
    • C.  Title Insurance  10.21
    • D.  Property Insurance and Liability Insurance  10.22
    • E.  When Insurer Must Investigate or Defend  10.23
  • V.  GATHERING FACTS AND EVIDENCE  10.24
    • A.  Site Visit  10.25
    • B.  Surveying  10.26
    • C.  Consultants and Expert Witnesses  10.27
      • 1.  Surveyors  10.28
      • 2.  Appraisers  10.29
      • 3.  Arborists and Other Plant Experts  10.30
      • 4.  Engineering Experts  10.31
    • D.  Title Documents
      • 1.  Title Documents to Obtain  10.32
      • 2.  What to Look for in Title Documents  10.33
    • E.  Photographs, Videos, and Diagrams  10.34
    • F.  Permit Records  10.35
    • G.  Potential Witnesses  10.36
      • 1.  Interviewing Prospective Witnesses  10.37
      • 2.  Securing Witness Statements  10.38
    • H.  Public Records  10.39
    • I.  Online Research  10.40
  • VI.  FILING THE COMPLAINT: THEORIES OF RECOVERY AND TACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS  10.41
    • A.  Standard Theories of Recovery
      • 1.  Quiet Title and Declaratory Relief  10.42
      • 2.  Trespass, Nuisance, and Inverse Condemnation  10.43
      • 3.  Breach of Contract  10.44
      • 4.  Negligence; Slander of Title  10.45
      • 5.  Nondisclosure and Misrepresentation  10.45A
    • B.  Lis Pendens  10.46
    • C.  Boundary Dispute and Easement Theories of Recovery
      • 1.  Prescriptive Easements  10.47
      • 2.  Easements by Necessity  10.48
      • 3.  Easement by Implication  10.49
      • 4.  Equitable Easements and the Doctrine of Relative Hardships  10.50
      • 5.  Easements by Agreement  10.51
      • 6.  Agreed Boundary  10.52
      • 7.  Boundary Revisions Under Cullen Earthquake Act  10.52A
      • 8.  Other Legal Theories Establishing Easements  10.53
    • D.  Ownership, Possession, and Occupancy Theories of Recovery
      • 1.  Adverse Possession  10.54
      • 2.  Ejectment  10.55
      • 3.  Forcible Entry and Detainer  10.56
    • E.  Remedies
      • 1.  Judgments and Declarations of Legal Title  10.57
      • 2.  Damages and Specific Performance  10.58
      • 3.  Injunctions  10.59
    • F.  Complaint Forms
      • 1.  Form: Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (to Establish and Enforce Equitable Easement)  10.59A
      • 2.  FORM: MULTITHEORY COMPLAINT FOR FRAUD AND ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES  10.59B
      • 3.  Form: Verified Complaint: To Quiet Title to Prescriptive Easement; To Quiet Title to Equitable Easement; For Enforcement of Easement Pursuant to CC §809; To Enjoin Private Nuisance; For Declaratory Relief  10.59C
      • 4.  Form: Verified Cross-Complaint: To Quiet Title to Parking Easement on Real Property; For Enforcement of Easement Pursuant to CC §809; To Enjoin Private Nuisance; For Declaratory Relief  10.59D
      • 5.  Other Complaint Forms  10.59E
  • VII.  RESPONDING TO THE COMPLAINT  10.60
    • A.  Answers and Dispositive Motions
      • 1.  Tactical and Strategic Decisions  10.61
      • 2.  Affirmative Defenses  10.62
        • a.  Statute of Limitations  10.63
        • b.  Comparative Fault  10.64
        • c.  Other Common Affirmative or Statutory Defenses  10.65
        • d.  Checklist: Defenses to Easement Complaints  10.65A
      • 3.  Anti-SLAPP Motion to Strike  10.65B
    • B.  The Cross-Complaint: Theories of Recovery  10.66
      • 1.  Termination of an Easement  10.67
      • 2.  Limitation of Easement Right  10.68
      • 3.  Good Faith Improver Statute  10.69
      • 4.  Inverse Condemnation Damages  10.69A
      • 5.  Recovery of Maintenance and Repair Costs  10.70
    • C.  Indemnity Actions Against Third Parties  10.70A
  • VIII.  DISCOVERY IN EASEMENT AND BOUNDARY DISPUTES
    • A.  Strategies  10.71
      • 1.  Nature of Dispute and Relevant Discovery Topics
        • a.  Disputes Concerning the Location of an Easement or Boundary  10.72
        • b.  Disputes Concerning the Use of an Easement  10.73
        • c.  Disputed Encroachments  10.74
      • 2.  Objectives and Special Considerations  10.75
      • 3.  Discovery Methods
        • a.  Informal Discovery Methods  10.76
          • (1)  Documents  10.77
          • (2)  Expert Consultation  10.78
          • (3)  Site Visits; Informal Versus Formal Discovery  10.79
        • b.  Formal Discovery Methods  10.80
          • (1)  Demands for the Inspection and Copying of Documents, Land, and Other Tangible Things  10.81
          • (2)  Requests for Admissions, Interrogatories, and Depositions  10.82
  • IX.  SETTLEMENT TECHNIQUES  10.83
    • A.  Types of Agreements Commonly Used to Settle Easement and Boundary Disputes
      • 1.  Easement Agreements  10.84
      • 2.  Encroachment and License Agreements  10.85
      • 3.  Party Wall Agreements  10.86
      • 4.  Maintenance Agreements  10.87
      • 5.  Voluntary Lot Line Adjustments  10.87A
      • 6.  Subdivisions; Common Interest Developments  10.88
      • 7.  General Considerations  10.89
    • B.  Financial and Insurance Considerations  10.90
    • C.  Mediation  10.91
    • D.  Third Parties  10.92
    • E.  Form: Easement Settlement Agreement  10.92A
  • X.  TRIAL OF EASEMENT AND BOUNDARY DISPUTE CASES
    • A.  Jury or Bench Trial  10.93
    • B.  Pretrial Motions and Stipulations  10.94
    • C.  Judgments  10.95
    • D.  Attorney Fees and Costs; Effect of CCP §998  10.96
    • E.  Interest on Damages Awarded  10.97

CALIFORNIA EASEMENTS AND BOUNDARIES:
LAW AND LITIGATION

(1st Edition)

August 2023

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

File Name

Book Section

Title

CH02

Chapter 2

Development Easements

02-069

§2.69

Reciprocal Easement Agreement

02-070

§2.70

Table of Exhibits (Reciprocal Easement)

02-071

§2.71

Utility and Access Easement Agreement

02-072

§2.72

Table of Exhibits (Utility and Access Easement)

02-073

§2.73

Slope and Drainage Easement Agreement

02-074

§2.74

Table of Exhibits (Slope and Drainage Easement)

CH04

Chapter 4

Construction-Related Agreements

04-006

§4.6

Access Agreement

04-008

§4.8

Form Provision: License to Monitor Adjacent Property

04-008A

§4.8A

Grant of Temporary Construction Easement

04-008B

§4.8B

Grant of Public Service Easement

04-008C

§4.8C

Grant of Storm Drain Easement

04-008D

§4.8D

Grant of Public Pedestrian Access Easement

04-008E

§4.8E

Grant of Temporary Emergency Vehicle Access Easement

04-008F

§4.8F

Subordination Agreement (From Deed of Trust Beneficiary)

04-008G

§4.8G

Subordination and Waiver Agreement (From Lessee)

04-016

§4.16

Underpinning and Tieback Agreement

04-024

§4.24

Notice of Intended Excavation

CH05

Chapter 5

Utility Easements and Access Rights

05-025

§5.25

Drafting Utility Easements; Additional Clauses

05-026

§5.26

Utility Distribution Easement Grant Deed

05-027

§5.27

Joint Use and Easement Relocation Agreement

05-028

§5.28

Drainage and Construction Easement Agreement

05-029

§5.29

Utility Easement Agreement for Underground Transmission of Electricity

CH06

Chapter 6

Conservation Easements

06-001A

§6.1A

Checklist: Negotiating and Drafting Conservation Easements

06-008

§6.8

Form Provision: Changed Economic Circumstances

06-018

§6.18

Form Provision: Public Policy Recitals

06-050

§6.50

Grant Deed and Conservation Easement and Agreement

CH08

Chapter 8

Boundary Easements and Neighboring Property Rights

08-011

§8.11

Party Wall Agreement

08-028A

§8.28A

Notice of Intention to Incur Costs for Boundary Fence (Good Neighbor Fence Act)

08-059

§8.59

Title and Introductory Paragraph

08-060

§8.60

Recitals

08-061

§8.61

Introduction to Provisions of Agreement

08-062

§8.62

Granting Clause

08-063

§8.63

General Reservation Clause

08-064

§8.64

Duration Clause

08-065

§8.65

Subordination

08-066

§8.66

Signatures

08-067

§8.67

License Agreement

CH10

Chapter 10

Litigating Easement and Boundary Disputes

10-011

§10.11

Checklist: Dos and Don’ts in Boundary Location and Encroachment Disputes

10-059A

§10.59A

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (to Establish and Enforce Equitable Easement)

10-059B

§§10.59B–10.59D

Multitheory Complaint for Fraud and Alternative Remedies

 

§10.59C

Verified Complaint: To Quiet Title to Prescriptive Easement; To Quiet Title to Equitable Easement; For Enforcement of Easement Pursuant to CC §809; To Enjoin Private Nuisance; For Declaratory Relief

 

§10.59D

Verified Cross-Complaint: To Quiet Title to Parking Easement on Real Property; For Enforcement of Easement Pursuant to CC §809; To Enjoin Private Nuisance; For Declaratory Relief

10-065A

§10.65A

Checklist: Defenses to Easement Complaints

10-092A

§10.92A

Easement Settlement Agreement

 

Selected Developments

August 2023 Update

General Caution: The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has recently revised or is in the process of revising several policy forms and endorsements. While these revisions may not directly affect the following chapter discussions, practitioners are generally reminded to check for the most current ALTA forms by visiting https://alta.org/policy-forms/. Practitioners can also visit https://www.clta.org/ for the most current content by the California Land Title Association (CLTA). See, e.g., §7.31.

Emphasizing the relevance of the parties’ intent, in Canyon Vineyard Estates I, LLC v DeJoria (2022) 78 CA5th 995, the court found that both fee title and a conservation easement could co-exist in the same owner because extinguishment of the easement would have contravened the purpose of the transfer of the property from the prior owner. According to the court, there was no need to use the word “easement” in the deed to create such interest when the instrument included perpetual restrictions that ran with the land and the transferee was legally qualified to acquire and hold a conservation easement. See §§1.20, 6.1, 6.42.

The question of whether an implied easement for private use may be exclusive was addressed in Romero v Shih (2022) 78 CA5th 326, 350. Relying on prescriptive easement cases, the court of appeal reversed the trial court’s finding of an implied easement for driveway purposes that was effectively for exclusive use. Even though all requirements for an implied easement are met, implied easements for exclusive private use are not allowed. However, the court affirmed a finding that there was an equitable easement for exclusive use of the driveway. See . The California Supreme Court granted review on the sole issue of the implied easement. Romero v Shih (Aug. 22, 2022, S275023) 2022 Cal Lexis 4609. The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari on January 17, 2023. Romero v Shih (2023) ___ US ___, 143 S Ct 733. See §§1.24, 8.40.

Although Wat C §106 firmly establishes that domestic water use “is the highest use of water,” a water district that sells groundwater will often charge a municipality a higher fee per unit for water used for domestic purposes than it charges for water used for agricultural purposes; this is authorized by Wat C §75594, which was challenged on state constitutional grounds in City of San Buenaventura v United Water Conserv. Dist. (2017) 3 C5th 1191. On remand and subsequent appeal, Wat C §75594 was found facially unconstitutional, with the particular ratio of fees for municipal versus agricultural users needing to satisfy the constitutional requirements of Proposition 26. City of San Buenaventura v United Water Conserv. Dist. (2022) 79 CA5th 110, 121; see also n4. See §3.13A.

Water Code §1052 was amended such that the Attorney General may bring an action for injunctive relief on behalf of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), and not only at the request of the SWRCB. See §3.13B.

If local agencies miss deadlines or fail to work earnestly toward groundwater sustainability (see ), the SWRCB has conditional authority to intervene. For example, if a groundwater sustainability plan is deemed inadequate by the California Department of Water Resources, the state intervention process begins following consultation with the SWRCB. The SWRCB may—following a noticed hearing—designate a groundwater basin “probationary” and develop an “interim plan” to manage that basin. Wat C §§10735.2–10735.4, 10735.8. The SWRCB must provide the public with notice of a probationary hearing 90 days before the hearing. Wat C §10736. The SWRCB must also, not less than 60 days prior to the probationary hearing, provide notice to “all persons known to the board who extract or who propose to extract water from the basin.” Wat C §10736(b)(3)(B). The SWRCB is also directed to exclude from probationary status any portion of a basin for which a groundwater sustainability agency demonstrates compliance with the sustainability goal. Wat C §10735.2(e). The SWRCB must wait at least 1 year after a basin is placed on probation before it may begin providing notice of an interim plan adoption hearing. See §3.13F.

Members of the public have standing to bring an action on behalf of the public to enforce public trust easements, even if they do not have an express individual right in the land. See Water for Citizens of Weed v Church White LLP (2023) 88 CA5th 270, 284. See §3.20.

In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari for Sackett v U.S. EPA (9th Cir 2021) 8 F4th 1075, and on May 25, 2023, the Court reversed and remanded the Ninth Circuit. On March 20, 2023, the final rule defining WOTUS went into effect. 88 Fed Reg 3004 (Jan. 18, 2023). This final rule had already been challenged in federal court before the decision in Sackett; it may be years before the controversy over the definition of WOTUS is settled. At the time of this publication, federal agencies are interpreting WOTUS consistent with the pre-2015 regulatory regime, but due to the decision in Sackett, this is in flux and may change. For the current status of the WOTUS rule, see https://www.epa.gov/wotus/definition-waters-united-states-rule-status-and-litigation-update. See §3.20.

Except as described below, a lease of less than an entire legally subdivided parcel violates the Subdivision Map Act (Govt C §§66410–66499.40) because it is a lease of unimproved real property, even if it is zoned for commercial or industrial use. See, in contrast, the provisions of Govt C §66412, which identify various activities that are exempt from the Map Act’s requirements. A new exception was added: Govt C §66412(n), which exempts the leasing of, or the granting of an easement in conjunction with the financing, erection, and sale or lease of, an electrical energy storage system on the land, if the project is subject to discretionary action by the advisory agency or legislative body. See §§4.11, 4.28.

Conservation easements purchased with state funds after January 1, 2019, that contain “forest lands” are subject to Pub Res C §4751 or §4752 (depending on the date of purchase). Public Resources Code §4752 applies to easements purchased with state funds from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2022. Public Resources Code §4751, which applies to easements contracted for purchase with state funds on or after January 1, 2023, provides additional applicability thresholds. Specifically, the statute clarifies its applicability to easements containing at least 40 acres of forest lands, as defined in Pub Res C §12220(g), or any amount of land that has been zoned as a timberland production zone. Additionally, Pub Res C §4751 excludes conservation trail easements when the primary purpose is for public access to a trail. See §6.3.

On January 1, 2020, the former statute authorizing expedited termination of a Williamson Act contract in favor of a solar use easement (Govt C §51255.1) was repealed by operation of law, but it was revived effective January 1, 2023, by AB 1489 (Stats 2022, ch 427). See §6.8B.

Effective January 1, 2024, the Carpenter-Presley-Tanner Hazardous Substance Account Act will be recodified to Health & S C §§78000–81050. See §6.50.

About the Authors

DAVID G. BOSS, co-author of chapters 3, 7, and 9, is the founder and Principal of The Boss Law Firm, APLC, San Diego. He represents title insurers and developers in real estate matters and has provided legal counsel to title insurers in connection with the coverage for, and resolution of, numerous title insurance claims as well as the underwriting of title insurance transactions involving residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and publicly owned or managed lands. Mr. Boss received his B.A. degree from the University of California (Los Angeles) in Economics in 1981 and his J.D. degree from the University of San Diego Law School in 1984.

PETER BRIAN BOTHEL, co-author of chapters 3 and 9, was a senior associate with the firm of Cassidy, Shimko & Dawson, San Francisco. Now deceased, Mr. Bothel practiced in the real property law areas of acquisitions and financing, commercial leasing, and other real estate transactions. He also had experience in real estate litigation, title issues, title insurance coverage and escrow, foreclosures, and easements. Mr. Bothel received his J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1977 and his B.A. from Wheaton College, Illinois, in 1974.

JEROME F. CANDELARIA, co-author of chapter 5, is Vice President & Counsel, Regulatory Affairs, California Cable & Telecommunications Association, Sacramento. He represents the cable industry on regulatory matters before the FCC, CPUC, and other state agencies. He currently serves as the national cable industry representative on the FCC’s North American Numbering Council and is the Vice-Chair of the State Emergency Communications Committee. Mr. Candelaria received his B.A. in 1986 from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. in 1989 from Harvard Law School.

SUSAN F. FRENCH, author of chapter 1, assisted in the planning of this book and is an emerita member of the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. She was the Reporter for the Restatement (Third) of the Law of Property, Servitudes (2000) and is co-author of casebooks in Property and Community Association Law (common interest communities). Professor French taught Property, Trusts & Wills, and Community Association Law, and has published in all three fields. She received her A.B. from Stanford University in 1964 and her J.D. from the University of Washington in 1967.

JEFFREY N. GARLAND, co-author of chapter 10, is senior counsel with Hilbert & Satterly, LLP, San Diego. He specializes in all aspects of real estate and business litigation, from inception through appeal, including an extensive title insurance practice. He has served as a court-appointed special master and as a mediator. Mr. Garland received his B.A. in 1971 from United States International University and his J.D. (magna cum laude) in 1974 from the University of San Diego Law School, where he was Lead Article Editor of the San Diego Law Review.

ELIZABETH C. GIANOLA, co-author of chapter 10, is a shareholder of Horan Lloyd, PC, Carmel. She specializes in real property and commercial litigation before both state and federal courts. She is past Vice Chair of the Executive Committee, Real Property Law Section of the California Lawyers Association. Ms. Gianola received her B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley, her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and her Ph.D. in law from the Sorbonne.

DANIEL L. GOODKIN, co-author of chapter 8, and founding partner of Goodkin & Lynch LLP, Los Angeles, is a real estate and construction litigator and has tried multiple cases involving easements and boundary disputes. He also litigates and is a frequent speaker on lien laws, title issues, real property purchase and sale agreements, landlord-tenant issues, mold litigation, and indoor air quality issues. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and also served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court. Mr. Goodkin received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

LAURENCE L. HUMMER, co-author of chapter 8, assisted in the planning of this book and is a sole practitioner in Los Angeles. His practice focuses on civil litigation and on commercial and residential real estate transactions. He has tried cases involving real property purchase and sale agreements; construction contracts, delays, and defects; quiet title to real estate; commercial landlord-tenant disputes; neighborhood height limitations and view restrictions; and contamination of industrial property and groundwater. He has resolved many real estate boundary, easement, and encroachment disputes for businesses and homeowners. Mr. Hummer received his A.B. in 1973 from Stanford University and his J.D. in 1980 from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.

CYNTHIA K. LONG, co-author of chapter 9, was formerly a partner in Bothel & Long, San Francisco, and is Senior Vice-President and Regional Counsel for Old Republic Title Company in San Francisco. She specializes in real property litigation. She is a speaker for CEB real property law programs and has contributed to other CEB real property litigation publications. Ms. Long received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her J.D. in 1979 from Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco.

LAURA S. LOWE, co-author of chapters 3 and 9, assisted in the planning of this book and is currently Senior Counsel with Old Republic Title Company in San Francisco. She formerly worked as the West Region Agency Counsel for LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc., the parent company for Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation. Ms. Lowe has presented programs for CEB and the California Lawyers Association’s Real Property Section. Ms. Lowe graduated from University of San Francisco School of Law in 1982 and received her B.S. in 1974 from Ohio State University.

WILLIAM H. LYNES, original author of chapter 7, and annual update author through 2017, is Vice President and Commercial Counsel with Chicago Title Insurance Company, Los Angeles, and has been an attorney with Chicago Title and its predecessor Ticor Title Insurance Company of California since 1986. He acts as underwriting counsel on commercial and industrial transactions and on railroad and other specialty title transactions. Mr. Lynes received his B.A. in 1972 from St. Lawrence University, and his J.D. in 1976 from the University of San Fernando Valley College of Law.

NEAL A. PARISH, principal co-author of chapter 2, specializes in real estate, land use, and public agency law at Wendel Rosen LLP, Oakland. For private industry and individual clients, he negotiates and analyzes real estate contracts, including leases, purchase and sale contracts, subdivision documents including CC&Rs, and easements. He also assists a variety of clients with land use and permitting issues. He served as chair of the City of Oakland Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board. Mr. Parish received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, his Master of City Planning and his M.S., Transportation Engineering, from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

JAMES L. PIERCE, original author of chapter 6, and annual update author through 2015, serves as Senior Staff Counsel in the California Department of Conservation, Sacramento. He formerly worked in the California Attorney General’s Office, as a sole practitioner in Mt. Shasta, and as Staff Counsel to the California State Coastal Conservancy in Oakland. He specializes in land use and conservation, real property, environmental, and public agency law. Mr. Pierce received his B.M. in 1984 from San Francisco State University, his M.M. in 1985 from Northwestern University, and his J.D. in 1991 from University of San Francisco School of Law. Any statements in chapter 6 are solely the personal statements of the author and do not reflect the views of any governmental agency or official, including, but not limited to, the California Department of Conservation.

DAVID L. PREISS, co-author of chapter 2, assisted in the planning of this book and is a partner with Holland & Knight LLP, San Francisco, specializing in land use, real estate, and surface mining issues, as well as real estate development and transactions. He was a contributing author on CEB leasing and development books and frequently lectures on land use and development law. Mr. Preiss obtained his B.A. in 1977 from Williams College and his J.D. in 1982 from the University of California, Davis, School of Law.

ANDREW K. RAUCH, co-author of chapter 5, assisted in the planning of this book and is the principal of Andrew Rauch, APC, San Diego, specializing in eminent domain, agriculture law, and real estate litigation. Earlier in his career he worked for the California Department of Transportation, handling tort defense, eminent domain matters, and real estate transactions. He is a member of the California Lawyers Association’s Real Property Law Section and the International Right-of-Way Association. Mr. Rauch received his B.S. from Brigham Young University in 1984, and his J.D. from Lincoln Law School, Sacramento, in 1988.

DAVID L. ROTH, co-author of chapter 10, assisted in the planning of this book, was the principal of The Real Estate Law Offices of David L. Roth, Oakland, and specialized in real estate litigation and transactions. Now deceased, he served as an executive editor of the California Real Property Journal, the quarterly publication of the Real Property Section of the California Lawyers Association, was a chair of the Alameda County Bar Association Real Estate Section, and gave programs for attorney and legal professional groups on real estate topics. Mr. Roth received his B.A. in 1975 from Occidental College and his J.D. in 1978 from the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly Hastings College of the Law).

EDWARD S. RUSKY, co-author of chapter 3, is currently Senior National Underwriting Counsel for the National Commercial Services Department of First American Title Insurance Company, San Francisco. He specializes in underwriting and closing complex, high-liability, multisite commercial transactions for national clients. Mr. Rusky received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 1971; he was admitted to the California and Federal Bars in 1972.

JASON L. SATTERLY, co-author of chapter 10, is a partner in Hilbert & Satterly, LLP, San Diego. He specializes in real estate and business litigation and title insurance law, representing title insurance underwriters, title companies, escrow companies, financial institutions, and loan servicers. He was a member of the CEB’s Young Lawyer Advisory Panel and a recipient of the Wiley M. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services. Mr. Satterly received two B.A.s in 2001 from Eastern Kentucky University (magna cum laude) and his J.D. in 2005 from Thomas Jefferson School of Law (magna cum laude), where he was a Literary Editor for the Thomas Jefferson Law Review.

RICHARD M. SHAPIRO, author of chapter 4, is a partner in Farella Braun & Martel LLP, San Francisco. He specializes in real estate and construction transactions, representing owners, contractors, and design professionals. He has prepared and negotiated reciprocal easement agreements, commercial condominium documents, management, and real estate brokerage agreements. He received his a B.A. from Antioch College in 1969; his M. Arch. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1973; and his J.D. from University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly Hastings College of the Law), in 1979. He is a California registered architect.

CAROLYN J. STEIN, co-author of chapter 2, was most recently a Deputy City Attorney with the Real Estate and Finance Team in the Office of the City Attorney of San Francisco. She was formerly a real estate attorney with Shorenstein Company and with Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP, Oakland. She is a member of the California Lawyers Association’s Real Property Section and has been a contributing writer, editor, and planner for CEB commercial leasing books. Ms. Stein received her B.A. from California State University, East Bay, and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

STEPHEN STWORA-HAIL, co-author of chapter 2, assisted in the planning of this book and was a member of the Advisory Committee of CEB’s Real Property Practice Group. He is a partner at Young Molohan Cohen Durrett, LLP, Sacramento. In his transactional practice, he represents commercial developers of retail, office, industrial, warehousing, and residential projects with the acquisition, land use, development, construction and leasing of their properties, as well as the CC&Rs and reciprocal easement agreements for the shopping centers in which they are located. He also has negotiated agricultural, utility, and conservation easements. Mr. Stwora-Hail received his B.A. degree from the University of Chicago and his J.D. from Santa Clara University.

JOHN DAVIDSON THOMAS, co-author of chapter 5, was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hogan Lovells LLP and has a national practice in the telecommunications and broadband communications industries. His practice focuses on the deployment of competitive networks and services; he represents cable television companies and other broadband providers on local franchising, rights-of-way, pole attachments, and similar issues. He received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1990, his M.S. from Boston University in 1987, and his A.B. from Cornell University in 1984.

PAUL A. WERNER III, co-author of chapter 5, is currently a partner and Co-Practice Leader of the Business Trials Practice Group in the Washington, D.C., office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, and represents clients in the telecommunications industry. Mr. Werner represents cable operators, telecommunications, and other broadband providers in matters involving communications law issues, including local franchising, PEG programming, rights-of-way, pole attachments, and infrastructure deployment. He is also experienced in representing communications clients in federal and state court litigation and in adjudications and rulemakings before the Federal Communications Commission. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1999 and his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2002.

About the 2023 Update Authors

DAVID G. BOSS, update co-author of chapter 3 and update author of chapters 7 and 9, is now a Partner with Dillon Miller Ahuja & Boss, LLP, in Carlsbad. See biography in the About the Authors section of this book. Mr. Boss

DAVID E. CAMERON, update co-author of chapter 3, is a Partner with Downey Brand LLP, Sacramento. His practice is focused on securing and protecting water rights, the purchase and sale of water rights, compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), water banking, and related environmental and endangered species issues. His practice includes litigation in state and federal courts, administrative proceedings before the State Water Resources Control Board, public agency representation, and transactional water-related matters including due diligence. Mr. Cameron received his B.A. in 2003 from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. in 2011 from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento. He is also a contributing author for California Water Law & Policy Reporter.

SUSAN F. FRENCH, update author of chapter 1; see biography in the About the Authors section of this book.

DANIEL L. GOODKIN, update co-author of chapter 8; see biography in the About the Authors section of this book. Mr. Goodkin is now with Goodkin Law Group APC in Los Angeles.

ALICE M. GRAHAM, principal of the Graham Law Corporation, Marina Del Rey, is the update author of chapter 10. Ms. Graham’s law practice focuses on various aspects of real estate law, including real estate transactions and litigation of disputes involving title and rights to real property, escrow, neighbor disputes, easements, investment fraud, construction law, contracts, and business law. She is also an experienced mediator. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her J.D. from Loyola Law School. Ms. Graham has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the California State Bar Real Property Section and a member of the board of Santa Monica Bar Association. Ms. Graham currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Small Firms and Solo section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

LAURENCE L. HUMMER, update co-author of chapter 8; see biography in the About the Authors section of this book.

NATALIE C. KIRKISH, update co-author of chapter 3, is a Senior Associate with Downey Brand LLP, San Francisco. Ms. Kirkish represents her clients in administrative proceedings on land use issues involving CEQA, NEPA, the public trust doctrine, endangered species, the California Coastal Act, the McAteer-Petris Act, federal and state laws governing protection of historic and cultural resources, and local zoning codes and general plans. Her litigation practice focuses on federal, state, and local environmental laws, where she has proven success in litigating and settling complaints for declaratory and injunctive relief, writs of mandate, and appeals. She counsels public agencies and private companies on regulatory and land use entitlement issues governing a diversity of projects, including mixed-use real estate developments, recycled water projects, port and waterfront developments, vegetation management plans, and linear energy projects. Ms. Kirkish received her B.A. in 2010 from the University of California, Davis, and her J.D. in 2014 from Santa Clara University School of Law.

NEAL A. PARISH, update author of chapter 2; see biography in the About the Authors section of this book.

JESSICA C. RADER, update author of chapters 5 and 6, serves as an attorney in the California Department of Conservation, Sacramento. She formerly was a Senior Staff Counsel in the California State Lands Commission; she specializes in land use and conservation, real property title issues, and environmental and public agency law. Ms. Rader received her B.S. in 2001 from Humboldt State University, Arcata, and her J.D. in 2007 from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Any statements in chapters 5 and 6 are solely the personal statements of the author and do not reflect the views of any governmental agency or official, including, but not limited to, the California Department of Conservation.

RICHARD M. SHAPIRO, update author of chapter 4; see biography in the About the Authors section of this book.

GRAHAM ST. MICHEL, update co-author of chapters 5 and 6, is a Senior Staff Attorney at the California Department of Conservation, Sacramento. Mr. St. Michel received his J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2008. Any statements in chapters 5 and 6 are solely the personal statements of the author and do not reflect the views of any governmental agency or official, including, but not limited to, the California Department of Conservation.

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