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Third Substitute S.B. 269

Senator Dennis E. Stowell proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Dennis E. Stowell

House Sponsor: James R. Gowans

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill requires the Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman to provide information
             10      concerning water rights to water rights owners.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    requires the Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman to provide information
             14      concerning water rights and proceedings concerning water rights to certain water
             15      right owners;
             16          .    requires a fee to be established and collected for use of the Office of the Property
             17      Rights Ombudsman by a water right owner; and
             18          .    makes technical changes.
             19      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      AMENDS:
             25          13-43-203, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 258

             26      ENACTS:
             27          13-43-207, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             29      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             30          Section 1. Section 13-43-203 is amended to read:
             31           13-43-203. Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman -- Duties.
             32          (1) The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman shall:
             33          (a) develop and maintain expertise in and understanding of takings, eminent domain,
             34      and land use law;
             35          (b) assist state agencies and local governments in developing the guidelines required by
             36      Title 63, Chapter 90a, Constitutional Taking Issues;
             37          (c) at the request of a state agency or local government, assist the state agency or local
             38      government, in analyzing actions with potential takings implications or other land use issues;
             39          (d) advise real property owners who have a legitimate potential or actual takings claim
             40      against a state or local government entity or have questions about takings, eminent domain, and
             41      land use law;
             42          (e) identify state or local government actions that have potential takings implications
             43      and, if appropriate, advise those state or local government entities about those implications;
             44      [and]
             45          (f) provide information to private citizens, civic groups, government entities, and other
             46      interested parties about takings, eminent domain, and land use law and their rights and
             47      responsibilities under the takings, eminent domain, or land use laws through seminars and
             48      publications, and by other appropriate means[.]; and
             49          (g) provide information concerning water rights and administrative and judicial
             50      proceedings concerning water rights to a water right owner of 50 acre-feet or less.
             51          (2) The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman may not represent private property
             52      owners, state agencies, or local governments in court or in adjudicative proceedings under Title
             53      63, Chapter 46b, Administrative Procedures Act.
             54          (3) No member of the Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman nor a neutral third
             55      party rendering an advisory opinion under Section 13-43-205 or 13-43-206 , may be compelled
             56      to testify in a civil action filed concerning the subject matter of any review, mediation, or

             57      arbitration by, or arranged through, the office.
             58          (4) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (4)(b), evidence of a review by the Office of
             59      the Property Rights Ombudsman and the opinions, writings, findings, and determinations of the
             60      Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman are not admissible as evidence in a judicial action.
             61          (b) Subsection (4)(a) does not apply to:
             62          (i) actions brought under authority of Title [78] 78A, Chapter [6] 8, Small Claims
             63      Courts;
             64          (ii) a judicial confirmation or review of the arbitration itself as authorized in Title [78]
             65      78B, Chapter [31a] 11, Utah Uniform Arbitration Act;
             66          (iii) actions for de novo review of an arbitration award or issue brought under the
             67      authority of Subsection 13-43-204 (3)(a)(i); or
             68          (iv) advisory opinions provided for in Sections 13-43-205 and 13-43-206 .
             69          Section 2. Section 13-43-207 is enacted to read:
             70          13-43-207. Fee for water right owner.
             71          (1) A water right owner seeking information from the Office of the Property Rights
             72      Ombudsman under Section 13-43-203 shall pay a fee established in accordance with
             73      Subsection (2).
             74          (2) The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman shall establish a fee in accordance
             75      with Section 63-38-3.2 in a manner designed to recover from all water right owners seeking
             76      information under Section 13-43-203 the cost of employing an attorney to provide the
             77      information.

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