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H.B. 229 Enrolled






Chief Sponsor: Patrick Painter

Senate Sponsor: David P. Hinkins

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill addresses matters related to a general adjudication of water rights.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    eliminates a requirement that an objection to a state engineer's proposed
             14      determination of water rights be verified under oath;
             15          .    provides for a petition to expedite a hearing concerning an objection to a proposed
             16      determination of water rights;
             17          .    allows a claimant to file a petition seeking to compel the state engineer to issue a
             18      proposed determination of water rights in a geographically limited portion of the
             19      general adjudication area; and
             20          .    makes technical changes.
             21      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             22          None
             23      Other Special Clauses:
             24          None
             25      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             26      AMENDS:
             27          73-4-11, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 365
             28      REPEALS AND REENACTS:
             29          73-4-24, Utah Code Annotated 1953

             31      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             32          Section 1. Section 73-4-11 is amended to read:
             33           73-4-11. Report and recommendation by engineer to court -- Notice -- Public
             34      meeting.
             35          (1) Within 30 days after the expiration of the 90 days allowed for filing statements of
             36      claims, the state engineer shall begin to tabulate the facts contained in the statements filed and
             37      to investigate, whenever the state engineer shall consider necessary, the facts set forth in the
             38      statements by reference to the surveys already made or by further surveys, and shall as
             39      expeditiously as possible [make a] report to the court [with the] a recommendation of how all
             40      rights involved shall be determined.
             41          (2) After full consideration of the statements of claims, and of the surveys, records,
             42      and files, and after a personal examination of the river system or water source involved, if the
             43      examination is considered necessary, the state engineer shall:
             44          (a) formulate a report and a proposed determination of all rights to the use of the water
             45      of the river system or water source;
             46          (b) mail or deliver a copy of the report and proposed determination to each claimant
             47      with notice that any claimant dissatisfied with the report and proposed determination may
             48      within 90 days from the date of mailing or delivery file with the clerk of the district court a
             49      written objection [verified on oath]; and
             50          (c) hold a public meeting in the area covered by the report and proposed determination
             51      to describe the report and proposed determination to the claimants.
             52          (3) The state engineer shall distribute the waters from the natural streams or other
             53      natural sources:
             54          (a) in accordance with the proposed determination or modification to the proposed
             55      determination by court order until a final decree is rendered by the court; or
             56          (b) if the right to the use of the waters has been decreed or adjudicated, in accordance
             57      with the decree until the decree is reversed, modified, vacated, or otherwise legally set aside.

             58          Section 2. Section 73-4-24 is repealed and reenacted to read:
             59          73-4-24. Petition for expedited hearing of objection -- Petition for limited
             60      determination.
             61          (1) A claimant to the use of water may petition the court to expedite the hearing of a
             62      valid, timely objection to a report and proposed determination prepared in accordance with
             63      Section 73-4-11 in which the claimant has a direct interest.
             64          (2) A petition under Subsection (1) shall identify any party directly affected by the
             65      objection, if known to the claimant, and state why the hearing of the objection should be
             66      expedited.
             67          (3) A petitioner under Subsection (1) shall notify those affected by the petition as
             68      directed by the court.
             69          (4) The court may grant a petition under Subsection (1) if:
             70          (a) the court finds that the expedited hearing is necessary in the interest of justice;
             71          (b) granting the petition will facilitate a reasonably prompt resolution of the matters
             72      raised in the objection; and
             73          (c) granting the petition does not prejudice the right of another claimant.
             74          (5) During the pendency of a general adjudication suit, a claimant or group of
             75      claimants may petition the court to direct the state engineer to survey and prepare a proposed
             76      determination for a limited area within the general adjudication area in which the claimant or
             77      group of claimants has a claim.
             78          (6) The court may grant a petition under Subsection (5) if:
             79          (a) the claimant or group of claimants will suffer prejudice if the petition is not
             80      granted;
             81          (b) the matters raised by the claimant or group of claimants are proper for
             82      determination in a general adjudication;
             83          (c) granting the petition will not unduly burden the state engineer's resources; and
             84          (d) granting the petition will not unduly interfere with the state engineer's discretion to
             85      allocate resources for the preparation of another proposed determination.

             86          (7) If the court grants a petition under this section, the state engineer shall comply with
             87      this chapter in satisfying the court's order.

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