This is the full text of California Civil Code 845.
Bold is done by DCLI for emphasis
(a) The owner of any easement in the nature of a private
right-of-way, or of any land to which any such easement is attached,
shall maintain it in repair.
(b) If the easement is owned by more than one person, or is
attached to parcels of land under different ownership, the cost of
maintaining it in repair shall be shared by each owner of the
easement or the owners of the parcels of land, as the case may be,
pursuant to the terms of any agreement entered into by the parties
for that purpose.
In the absence of an agreement, the cost shall be
shared proportionately to the use made of the easement by each owner.
(c) If any owner refuses to perform, or fails after demand in
writing to pay the owner's proportion of the cost, an action to
recover that owner's share of the cost, or for specific performance
or contribution, may be brought by the other owners, either jointly
or severally. The action may be brought before, during, or after
performance of the maintenance work, as follows:
(1) The action may be brought in small claims court if the amount
claimed to be due as the owner's proportion of the cost does not
exceed the jurisdictional limit of the small claims court. A small
claims judgment shall not affect apportionment of any future costs
that are not requested in the small claims action.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1), the action shall be filed
in superior court and, notwithstanding Section 1141.13 of the Code
of Civil Procedure, the action shall be subject to judicial
arbitration pursuant to Chapter 2.5 of Title 3 of Part 3 (commencing
with Section 1141.10) of the Code of Civil Procedure. A superior
court judgment shall not affect apportionment of any future costs
that are not requested in the action, unless otherwise provided in
(3) In the absence of an agreement addressing the maintenance of
the easement, any action for specific performance or contribution
shall be brought in a court in the county in which the easement is
(4) Nothing in this section precludes the use of any available
alternative dispute resolution program to resolve actions regarding
the maintenance of easements in the small claims court or the
(d) In the event that snow removal is not required under
subdivision (a), or under any independent contractual or statutory
duty, an agreement entered into pursuant to subdivision (b) to
maintain the easement in repair shall be construed to include snow
removal within the maintenance obligations of the agreement if all of
the following exist:
(1) Snow removal is not expressly precluded by the terms of the
(2) Snow removal is necessary to provide access to the properties
served by the easement.
(3) Snow removal is approved in advance by the property owners or
their elected representatives in the same manner as provided by the
agreement for repairs to the easement.
(e) This section does not apply to rights-of-way held or used by
railroad common carriers subject to the jurisdiction of the Public