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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 34
INTRODUCED BY C. TUSS, R. BITNEY, S. BOOKOUT-REINICKE, R. DALE, S. DOHERTY, B. EGGERS, D. EWER, L. GROSFIELD, H. HARPER, C. HIBBARD, D. MOOD, K. OHS, B. PAVLOVICH, B. RANEY, B. STORY, C. TREXLER
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA REQUESTING THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL TO DESIGNATE AN APPROPRIATE INTERIM COMMITTEE TO STUDY USE OF THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN AND THE EXISTING STATUTES RELATED TO EMINENT DOMAIN AND REQUIRING THAT COMMITTEE TO REPORT ON ITS FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
WHEREAS, eminent domain rights were first granted in 1877 for the development of utilities that served the public interest; and
WHEREAS, use of the power of eminent domain is not well-understood; and
WHEREAS, many landowners believe that their property rights are not protected by Montana's statutes governing eminent domain; and
WHEREAS, there are different rights and responsibilities associated with an easement in gross and an appurtenant easement; and
WHEREAS, options for expanding or limiting rights under easements are not effectively used; and
WHEREAS, the condemnation proceedings undertaken to exercise the power of eminent domain are intended to be a last resort for failed negotiations; and
WHEREAS, there were several proposals to the 56th Legislature to revise laws governing eminent domain.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Legislative Council be requested to designate an appropriate interim committee to:
(1) study implementation of existing eminent domain statutes, including the following:
(a) the frequency and distribution of condemnation actions in Montana;
(b) the types of interest in real property condemned in Montana; and
(c) the extent to which rights-of-way obtained through the use of eminent domain are being resold or re-leased for other uses than the original purpose for which the land was condemned and the degree to which the original landowner is compensated for those new uses; and
(2) study the adequacy of the current statutes with respect to the following specific aspects of use of the power of eminent domain:
(a) due process;
(b) just compensation;
(c) burden of proof standards;
(d) the abandonment process;
(e) rights of reentry;
(g) methods for acquiring property or the use of property, including types of easements and restrictions on easements;
(h) multiple use of easements; and
(3) determine the need for and potential benefit of revising the laws related to eminent domain.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the committee is encouraged to:
(1) invite participation by and involvement of interested and knowledgeable persons including property owners, industry representatives, representatives of environmental organizations, and representatives of state and local government entities; and
(2) actively seek participation by citizens from all parts of Montana.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the committee assigned to conduct the study shall report to the 57th Legislature, as provided in 5-11-210, on its findings and recommendations, including recommendations for legislation, if appropriate.
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Latest Version of HJ 34 (HJ0034.ENR)
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