Civil Code Section 813 was enacted in 1963 to allow owners a way to prevent prescriptive easements without resorting to physical acts of obstruction or the filing of a lawsuit. An owner may record with the county recorder a notice substantially as follows:

  • The right of the public or any person to make any use whatsoever of the above-described land or any portion thereof (other than any use expressly allowed by written or recorded map, agreement deed or dedication) is by permission and subject to control of owner.

The problem is that this solution is for a very narrow range of situations. Civil Code Section 813 provides:

  • “After recording a notice pursuant to this section , and prior to any revocation thereof, the owner shall not prevent any public use appropriate thereto by physical obstruction, notice or otherwise.”

The bottom line is that the recordation of this type of notice is most helpful in those situations where a landowner knows that use of the servient property cannot be entirely prevented. Prime examples are properties near beaches and large tracts of unoccupied land. Such recorded notice is conclusive evidence that subsequent use by the public or by any user is permissive and with the consent of the owner. This permission may be conditioned upon reasonable restrictions on the time place and manner of the use. If the use causing the concern is by a particular person or persons, the notice must be served on the user(s) by registered mail. The recorded notice may be revoked by recording a notice of revocation.