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H.B. 383

This document includes House Committee Amendments incorporated into the bill on Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 12:13 PM by jeyring. -->              1     





Chief Sponsor: James R. Gowans

Senate Sponsor: Dennis E. Stowell

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill amends a provision relating to the general adjudication of water rights.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    allows the state engineer to petition the court to amend or substitute a list of
             14      claimants in an action to determine water rights;
             15          .    allows the clerk of the court to change an address when the state engineer's records
             16      are amended;
             17          .    requires the state engineer to hold public meetings; 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          73-4-3, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2007, Chapter 136
             26          73-4-11, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2007, Chapter 136

             28      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             29          Section 1. Section 73-4-3 is amended to read:
             30           73-4-3. Procedure for action to determine rights -- Notice to and list of claimants
             31      -- Manner of giving notice of further proceedings -- Duties of engineer -- Survey -- Notice
             32      of completion.
             33          (1) Upon the filing of any action by the state engineer as provided in Section 73-4-1 , or
             34      by any person claiming the right to use the waters of any river system, lake, underground water
             35      basin, or other natural source of supply that involves a determination of the rights to the major
             36      part of the water of the source of supply or the rights of ten or more of the claimants of the
             37      source of supply, the clerk of the district court shall notify the state engineer that a suit has
             38      been filed.
             39          (2) (a) The state engineer then shall give notice to the claimants by publishing notice
             40      once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper designated by the court as most likely
             41      to give notice to such claimants.
             42          (b) The notice shall state:
             43          (i) an action has been filed;
             44          (ii) the name of the action;
             45          (iii) the name and location of the court in which the action is pending; and
             46          (iv) the name or description of the water source involved.
             47          (c) Claimants to the use of water shall notify the state engineer within 90 days from the
             48      date notice is given of their names and addresses.
             49          (d) After the expiration of 90 days, the state engineer shall prepare a list that shall
             50      include the names and addresses of all claimants then of record in the state engineer's office
             51      and all claimants who have notified the state engineer of their addresses, and this list shall be
             52      certified by the state engineer as complete and filed with the clerk of the court.
             53          (e) At any time during the action:
             54          [(e) The] (i) the court upon petition may by order permit the addition of names and
             55      addresses to [this list at any time during the pendency of the action, and] the list prepared under
             56      Subsection (2)(d);
             57          (ii) the court upon petition by the state engineer may by order permit amendment or
             58      substitution of the list prepared under Subsection (2)(d); and

             59          (iii) the clerk of the court may, without court order, upon notice from the claimant and
             60      upon amendment of the state engineer's records note any change of address.
             61          (f) If any claimant appears in this action by an attorney, the clerk shall note on the list
             62      the address of the attorney.
             63          (g) After the list is filed by the state engineer, notice of further proceedings, after
             64      service of summons, may be given without court order by mailing a copy thereof to the persons
             65      listed at the addresses listed and by mailing a copy thereof to any attorney of record for any
             66      such person, and notice may be given to [such] the listed persons and to all other claimants by
             67      publication in the manner and for the time prescribed by order of the district court.
             68          (3) After the statement or list is filed, the state engineer shall:
             69          (a) begin the survey of the water source and the ditches, canals, wells, tunnels, or other
             70      works diverting water [therefrom.] from the water source; and
             71          (b) hold a public meeting in the survey area to inform a H. [ person diverting water
             71a      from the
             72      water source
] a water right claimant .H
of the survey.
             73          (4) (a) As soon as the survey is complete, the state engineer shall file notice of
             74      completion with the clerk and give notice by mail or by personal service to all claimants whose
             75      names appear on the list that:
             76          (i) the survey is complete;
             77          (ii) their claims are due within 90 days from the date of notice; and
             78          (iii) within 90 days after service of the notice, each claimant must file a written
             79      statement with the clerk of the court setting forth the claimant's respective claim to the use of
             80      the water.
             81          (b) Notice given by mail is complete when the notice is mailed.
             82          (5) When a suit has been filed by the state engineer as provided by Section 73-4-1 , or
             83      by any person involving the major part of the waters of any river system, lake, underground
             84      water basin, or other source of supply, or the rights of ten or more of the water claimants of the
             85      source of supply, whether the suit is filed prior to or after the enactment hereof, the state
             86      engineer, upon receiving notice, shall examine the records of the state engineer's office with
             87      respect to the water source involved, and if they are incomplete to make such further
             88      investigation and survey as may be necessary for the preparation of the report and
             89      recommendation as required by Section 73-4-11 .

             90          (6) In all such cases the court shall proceed to determine the water rights involved in
             91      the manner provided by this chapter, and not otherwise.
             92          Section 2. Section 73-4-11 is amended to read:
             93           73-4-11. Report and recommendation by engineer to court.
             94          (1) Within 30 days after the expiration of the 90 days allowed for filing statements of
             95      claims, the state engineer shall begin to tabulate the facts contained in the statements filed and
             96      to investigate, whenever the state engineer shall consider necessary, the facts set forth in [said]
             97      the statements by reference to the surveys already made or by further surveys, and shall as
             98      expeditiously as possible make a report to the court with the recommendation of how all rights
             99      involved shall be determined.
             100          (2) After full consideration of the statements of claims, and of the surveys, records, and
             101      files, and after a personal examination of the river system or water source involved, if [such]
             102      the examination is considered necessary, the state engineer shall:
             103          (a) formulate a report and a proposed determination of all rights to the use of the water
             104      of [such] the river system or water source[, and];
             105          (b) mail H. or deliver .H a copy of the [same shall be mailed] report and proposed
             105a      determination to
             106      each claimant with notice that any claimant dissatisfied [therewith] with the report and
             107      proposed determination may within 90 days from [such] the date of mailing H. or delivery .H
             107a      file with the clerk
             108      of the district court a written objection [thereto duly] verified on oath[.]; and
             109          (c) hold a public meeting in the area covered by the report and proposed determination
             110      to describe the report and proposed determination to the claimants.
             111          (3) The state engineer shall distribute the waters from the natural streams or other
             112      natural sources:
             113          (a) in accordance with the proposed determination or modification [thereof] to the
             114      proposed determination by court order until a final decree is rendered by the court; [provided,]
             115      or
             116          (b) if the right to the use of [said] the waters has been [theretofore] decreed or
             117      adjudicated, [said waters shall be distributed] in accordance with [such] the decree until the
             118      [same] decree is reversed, modified, vacated, or otherwise legally set aside.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-23-09 10:20 AM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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