Article 2. Salvage of California Harbors And Navigation Code >> Division 3. >> Chapter 3. >> Article 2.

Sheriffs and all persons employed by them or aiding in the recovery and preservation of wrecked property, are entitled to a reasonable allowance as salvage for their services, and to all expenses incurred by them in their performance, out of the property saved. The officer having the custody of the property shall detain it until the allowance is paid or tendered. But the whole salvage claimed shall not exceed one-half of the value of the property or proceeds on which it is charged, and every agreement, order, or adjustment allowing a greater salvage is void, unless ordered and allowed by the superior court of the county.
Every officer to whom an order for the delivery of wrecked property or the payment of its proceeds is directed, shall present to the claimant of the property or proceeds, a written statement of the claims for salvage and expenses. If the claimant refuses to allow that amount, it shall be adjusted as provided in this article.
If, in any case, the amount of salvage and expenses is not settled by agreement, on the application of the owner or consignee of the property, or the master or supercargo having charge at the time of the wreck, or of a claimant having an order for the property, or of a person claiming salvage or expenses, the superior court of the county shall determine the amount of salvage and expenses in a summary way, either by itself hearing the allegations and proofs, or by referring the questions to three disinterested freeholders of the county, who shall have the same powers and shall proceed in the same manner as referees in civil actions. Their decisions as to the whole amount and as to the sums to be paid to each person interested shall be entered as the judgment of the court.
The fees and expenses of the contest shall be paid by the person upon whose application it was had, and are a charge on the property saved. Each referee is entitled to such per diem and expenses as the court may order.
Any person, other than the master, mate, or a seaman of a wrecked vessel, who rescues it, or its appurtenances or cargo from danger, is entitled to a reasonable compensation, to be paid out of the property saved. He shall have a lien for salvage upon the vessel and its appurtenances or cargo, as the case may be. A claim for salvage, as such, can not accrue against any vessel, or its freight, or cargo, in favor of the owners, officers, or crew of another vessel belonging to the same owners; but the actual cost at the time of the services rendered by one such vessel to another, when in distress, are payable through a general average contribution on the property saved.