Code Section Group

Streets and Highways Code - SHC

DIVISION 1. STATE HIGHWAYS [50 - 897]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29. )

CHAPTER 3. The Care and Protection of State Highways [660 - 759.3]

  ( Chapter 3 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29. )

ARTICLE 3. Nuisance and Penal Provisions [720 - 734]
  ( Article 3 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29. )

720.
  

If any encroachment exists in, under or over any State highway, the department may require the removal of such encroachment in the manner provided in this article.

Except as otherwise provided in sections 680 and 721, notice shall be given to the owner, occupant or person in possession of the encroachment, or to any other person causing or suffering the encroachment to exist, by serving upon any such person a notice containing a demand for the immediate removal of such encroachment from within such highway. Any such notice shall describe the encroachment complained of with reasonable certainty as to its character and location. In lieu of service upon such person, service of such notice may also be made by registered mail and by posting, for a period of five days, a copy of the notice on the encroachment described in the notice. In the case of an owner, occupant or person in possession, who is not present in the county, the notice may be given to his agent in lieu of service by mailing and posting.

(Amended by Stats. 1937, Ch. 931.)

721.
  

The department may immediately remove from any state highway any encroachment that:

(a) Is not removed, or the removal of which is not commenced and thereafter diligently prosecuted, prior to the expiration of five days from and after the service of the notice.

(b) Obstructs or prevents the use of the highway by the public.

(c) Consists of refuse.

(d) Is an advertising sign of any description, unless excepted by Section 670.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 345, Sec. 10. (AB 2752) Effective January 1, 2015.)

722.
  

The department may remove an encroachment on the failure of the owner to comply with a notice or demand of the department under the provisions of Section 673, Section 680, or Section 720, and shall have an action to recover the expense of the removal, costs, and expenses of suit and, in addition thereto, the sum of three hundred fifty dollars ($350) for each day the encroachment remains after the expiration of five days from the service of the notice or the demand.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 182, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2004.)

723.
  

If the owner, occupant, or person in possession of the encroachment, or person causing or suffering the encroachment to exist, or the agent of any of them, disputes or denies the existence of the encroachment, or refuses to remove or permit the removal of the encroachment, the department, in the name of the people of the State of California, may commence, in a court of competent jurisdiction, an action to abate the encroachment as a public nuisance. If judgment is recovered by the department, it may, in addition to having the encroachment adjudged a nuisance and abated, recover three hundred fifty dollars ($350) for each day the encroachment remains after the service of the notice in the manner provided in Section 720, and may also recover its costs and expenses incurred in the action.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 182, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2004.)

724.
  

Unless the encroachment is authorized under Article 2 (commencing with Section 670), any person owning, controlling, or placing, or causing or suffering to exist, any encroachment within any state highway after the service upon that person of the notice, in the manner provided in Section 720, is, in addition to any civil liability therefor, guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 142, Sec. 158.)

725.
  

It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following acts:

(a) Drain water, or permit water to be drained, from his lands onto any State highway by any means which results in damage to the highway.

(b) Obstruct any natural water course so as to:

(1) Prevent, impede or restrict the natural flow of waters from any State highway into and through such water course, unless other adequate and proper drainage is provided.

(2) Cause waters to be impounded within any State highway, to the damage of the highway.

(3) Cause interference with, or damage or hazard to public travel.

(c) Store or distribute water for any purpose so as to permit it to overflow onto, to saturate by seepage, or to obstruct any State highway, to the damage of the highway.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

726.
  

When notice thereof is given by the department, in the manner provided by section 720, to any person permitting or suffering such damage to be done to any State highway, or permitting or suffering any such condition to exist, such person shall immediately cease and discontinue such diversion of waters or shall discontinue and prevent such drainage, seepage, or overflow and shall repair the highway at his own expense.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

727.
  

If a person is thus notified, and fails, neglects, or refuses to cease and discontinue the diversion, to discontinue and prevent the drainage, seepage, or overflow of the waters, or to make the repairs required by Section 726, the department may make the repairs and may also perform work as is necessary to prevent the further drainage, diversion, overflow, or seepage of the waters.

The department, in the name of the people of the State of California, may recover in an action at law, in a court of competent jurisdiction, the amount expended for the repairs and work and, in addition thereto, the sum of three hundred fifty dollars ($350) for each day the drainage, diversion, overflow or seepage of waters is permitted to continue after the service of the notice in the manner required by Section 726, together with the costs and expenses incurred in the action.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 182, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2004.)

728.
  

Any person proposing or desiring to excavate or construct ditches in, under or over any State highway, to carry water for any purpose, shall construct, without expense to the State, such bridges, culverts, pipes, siphons or crossings as are necessary adequately and properly to carry such water in, under or over such State highway.

Any such construction shall be done in accordance with the permit and pursuant to section 671, and shall be subject to the approval of the department. The issuance of any such permit may be withheld until the department finds that proper and adequate provision is made for the protection of such State highway and for the safety of travel thereon.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

729.
  

Upon the neglect or refusal of any person to comply with the provisions of section 728, the department may construct any such crossing and may recover, in the name of the people of the State of California, in an action at law in any court of competent jurisdiction, the expense of such construction, together with the costs and expenses incurred in any such action.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

730.
  

Any person who by any means wilfully or negligently injures or damages any State highway is liable for the repair thereof, and the department, in the name of the people of the State of California, may recover, in an action in any court of competent jurisdiction, the amount expended for such repairs, together with the costs and expenses incurred in any such action.

Any person wilfully injuring any bridge, culvert or structure in or on any State highway is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 1937, Ch. 931.)

730.5.
  

Any person who by any means, without a permit issued by the department, digs up, cuts down, destroys, prunes, trims, or otherwise injures any tree or shrub on any state highway, rights-of-way, or property shall be liable for a penalty in the sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each tree so damaged and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each shrub so damaged; and the department, in the name of the people of the State of California, may recover the penalty in an action at law, in a court of competent jurisdiction, together with the costs and expenses, including attorney and expert fees, incurred in the action and the actual costs incurred because of the damage to any tree or shrub on state property.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 664, Sec. 210. Effective January 1, 2003.)

731.
  

Any vehicle or structure parked or placed wholly or partly within any state highway, for the purpose of selling the same or of selling therefrom or therein any article, service or thing, is a public nuisance and the department may immediately remove that vehicle or structure from within any highway.

Any person parking any vehicle or placing any structure wholly or partly within any highway for the purpose of selling that vehicle or structure, or of selling therefrom or therein any article or thing, and any person selling, displaying for sale, or offering for sale any article or thing either in or from that vehicle or structure so parked or placed, and any person storing, servicing, repairing or otherwise working upon any vehicle, other than upon a vehicle which is temporarily disabled, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

The California Highway Patrol and all peace officers from local law enforcement agencies may enforce the provisions of this chapter with respect to highways under their respective jurisdiction and shall cooperate with the department to that end. Whenever any member of the California Highway Patrol or any peace officer from a local law enforcement agency removes a vehicle from a highway under the provisions of this section, then all of the provisions of Article 3 (commencing with Section 22850), Chapter 10, Division 11 of the Vehicle Code with reference to the removal of a vehicle from a highway shall be applicable.

This section does not prohibit a seller from taking orders or delivering any commodity from a vehicle on that part of any state highway immediately adjacent to the premises of the purchaser; prohibit an owner or operator of a vehicle, or a mechanic, from servicing, repairing or otherwise working upon any vehicle which is temporarily disabled in a manner and to an extent that it is impossible to avoid stopping that vehicle within the highway; or prohibit coin-operated public telephones and related telephone structures in park and ride lots, vista points, and truck inspection facilities within state highway rights-of-way for use by the general public.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 89, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2008.)

731.5.
  

Section 731 does not apply to a coin-activated or credit card-activated telephone available for public use shared and maintained within any bus passenger shelter lawfully erected upon any state highway other than a freeway or expressway if the person placing the telephone has obtained a permit from the department pursuant to Section 670.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 512, Sec. 1.)

732.
  

Any person who wilfully injures, defaces, breaks down or removes any monument or stake placed, erected or used by the department to designate any point in the boundary or survey of any State highway or proposed State highway is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

732.5.
  

Survey monuments shall be preserved, referenced, or replaced pursuant to Section 8771 of the Business and Professions Code.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 458, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 1995.)

733.
  

All money recovered under the provisions of this chapter shall be paid into any fund which is available to the department for highway purposes and is designated by the department to receive such payment.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

734.
  

The procedure provided in this article is not exclusive and shall not prohibit the department from exercising any other remedy provided by law to prevent damage to or to protect any State highway.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 29.)

SHCStreets and Highways Code - SHC3