Is PG&E exempt from prescriptive easement claims through their forest property, in California?
The answer is generally no. unless that particular parcel of land has been dedicated to public use.
I say that because of California Civil Code § 1007:
1007. Occupancy for the period prescribed by the Code of Civil
Procedure as sufficient to bar any action for the recovery of the
property confers a title thereto, denominated a title by
prescription, which is sufficient against all, but no possession by
any person, firm or corporation no matter how long continued of any
land, water, water right, easement, or other property whatsoever
dedicated to a public use by a public utility, or dedicated to or
owned by the state or any public entity, shall ever ripen into any
title, interest or right against the owner thereof.
PG&E is a publicly traded corporation and is not an arm of any government entity, so the rules of adverse possession
and prescriptive easements apply to it to the same extent as they apply to any other nongovernmental entity. But land that PG&E is using in its capacity as a public utility is not subject to adverse possession or a prescriptive easement. But it may still be subject to an easement by necessity, depending on the facts.
So the answer will depend on the facts relating to the particular parcel of land that you have used as an easement. If this is the only access to your property, you may also be able to claim an easement by necessity if both parcels were previously under common ownership
If the utility has a power plant on the property, it is not subject to prescriptive rights. If the utility just owns the property as an investment unrelated to the generation or transmission of electricity, then the laws on prescriptive easements and adverse possession would apply.
The answer in your case is going to depend on the facts relating to both parties' chain of title
and the use to which the utility has put the land. I cannot give you a solid yes or no answer without knowing a lot more of the facts.
You can get a free consultation from some of the real estate
lawyers listed by location athttp://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/Real-Estate-Law/California
Please follow up on this with a local attorney who can go over the facts with you in confidence and research the chain of title of both parcels. That is not something we can do here.
I hope this information is helpful.