Article 6. Fences of California Public Utilities Code >> Division 4. >> Chapter 1. >> Article 6.
Every railroad corporation shall make and maintain a good and
sufficient fence on both sides of its track and property. If it does
not and if its engine or cars kill or maim any cattle or other
domestic animals upon its line of road, except where the road runs
through or upon public land it shall pay to the owner of the cattle
or other domestic animals a fair market price for them, unless the
killing or maiming occurred through the neglect or fault of the owner
of the animal.
A railroad corporation that pays to the owner of the land
through or along which its road is located an agreed price for making
and maintaining a good and sufficient fence, or that pays the cost
of such fence with the award of damages allowed for the right of way
for the railroad, is relieved and exonerated from all claims for
damages arising out of the killing or maiming of any animals of
persons who thus fail to construct and maintain the fence. The owners
of such animals are responsible for any damages or loss which may
accrue to the corporation from the animals being upon its railroad
track as a result of the nonconstruction of such fence, unless it is
shown that the loss or damage occurred through the negligence or
fault of the corporation, its officers, agents, or employees.
The commission may require every railroad corporation
operating any steam or electric railroad in this State to erect and
maintain lawful fences on each or either side of the railroad where
the railroad runs through or upon lands of the United States or of
this State, at such places as the commission determines that such
fences are necessary to protect cattle, horses, or mules, or any
other domestic animal being ranged or grazed upon lands adjacent to
the railroad from being maimed or killed by the operation or
management of engines, cars, or other rolling stock upon or over the
railroad, with necessary openings and gates in the fences, and
crossings and cattle guards for such openings and gates.
The authority of the commission to require such fences shall
be exercised in each instance only when a verified application is
filed with the commission by the person or persons owning cattle,
horses, mules, or other domestic animals with the right or privilege
to range or graze them upon the lands adjacent to the portion of the
railroad sought to be fenced.
The application shall specify the ownership of the railroad sought
to be fenced, and shall set forth a sufficient description of the
lands to identify them, the agency or department of government
administering the lands, and the nature of the right or privilege of
each petitioner to range or graze domestic animals thereon.
Upon the filing of the application, notice thereof and of any
hearing by the commission thereon shall be given by mail by the
commission to the agency or department of government administering
the land, and to the railroad corporation owning or operating the
railroad. Such owners, agency or department, and the railroad may
protest the granting of the application and may be heard thereon.
Upon hearing the commission shall determine whether or not
any fence or fences are necessary to protect cattle, horses, mules,
or any other domestic animals being ranged or grazed upon the land
designated in the application, from being maimed, or killed by the
operation or management of engines, cars, or other rolling stock upon
the railroad, and shall order that a fence or fences be constructed
and maintained by the railroad corporation at such places along the
railroad adjacent to the lands designated in the petition as the
commission determines. The commission may fix the time within which
the fence or fences shall be constructed and may designate the places
for necessary openings and gates therein and crossings and cattle
guards in connection therewith.
The commission may modify or revoke any such order when it
determines that the necessity for any such fence has ceased to exist.
The failure of any railroad corporation to comply with any
order of the commission authorized by this article shall not subject
it, or any of its officers, agents, or employees, to any penalty
other than payment by the railroad corporation to the owner of the
maimed or killed cattle, or other domestic animals of a fair market
price for the animals.
Nothing in this article requires a railroad corporation to pay for
the maiming or killing of any cattle or domestic animals where the
maiming or killing resulted from the neglect or fault of the owner of