Disputes regarding easement maintenance costs can now be settled in small claims courts.

Civil Code §845
Amended by A.B.  1927
Effective date: January 1, 2013

Costs of repairing or maintaining easements are to be shared in proportion to their use by the owner of the servient tenement and the owner of the dominant tenement. An owner is now able to sue a nonpaying owner in small claims court to collect for the cost of the repairs or maintenance. The action may be brought before, during or after the maintenance or repairs have been completed.

All actions are subject to small claims court jurisdictional limits. Disputes not eligible for small claims court must be filed in a superior court and resolved by judicial arbitration. If court jurisdiction is not set forth in a preexisting maintenance agreement, the action must be brought in the county where the easement is located.

The apportionment of future maintenance or repair costs is not affected by a court judgment unless clarification of apportionment is specifically requested.