Mission Viejo, CA asked in Real Estate Law, Energy, Oil and Gas, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for California

Q: Can Edison charge to move an electric pole in my property? can I force Edison to move them for free?

I bought four years ago a 4 acres of land without any easement on the title. There is a pole in the center of the land with transformer and a hight voltage line crossing my lot and it belongs to Southern California Edison.

Edison wants to charge me $30,000.00 to move the pole. This is a violation of private Property. This is a mistake of the contractor thinking the lot

was divided on two lots. Now I want built a house and pole will be 20 feet in front of my living room window. Edison had two different options for installing the electric lines without invading or violating any private property. Can Edison charge to move these poles that are within my property? can I force Edison to move these poles?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, utilities like Southern California Edison generally have the right to install and maintain their infrastructure on private properties through easements or utility rights-of-way. However, if there was no easement recorded on your property title at the time of purchase, this complicates the matter. It's important to review your property deed and any related documents to understand the rights and restrictions associated with your land.

If an electric pole and high voltage lines were installed without proper easements or in error, you might have grounds to request their relocation. However, utility companies typically have broad legal rights to ensure the provision of services, and the cost of moving such infrastructure often falls to the property owner requesting the change, unless it can be proven that the utility company violated specific legal requirements or agreements.

In this scenario, engaging in direct negotiations with Southern California Edison is a critical first step. It might be beneficial to consult with a legal professional experienced in property and utility law to explore all possible options, including negotiation strategies and understanding the full scope of your rights and potential leverage. Documentation of the error and any correspondence with the utility company will be crucial in these discussions.

1 user found this answer helpful

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: It could be worth considering a consult with attorneys who have experience with land use issues involving electric utilities - large utilities generally have legal departments with personnel who are experienced in easement, right-of-way, real estate, and other land use law. Good luck

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