Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 21. County Weed Control

Noncompliance -- Actions By Board

7-22-2134. Noncompliance -- actions by board. (1) The board may seek a court order to enter upon the infested parcels of the landowner's property if attempts to achieve voluntary compliance have been exhausted. The board may institute appropriate noxious weed control measures, including but not limited to:

(a) allowing the local weed district coordinator to implement the appropriate noxious weed control measures if the actions taken are valued at the current rate paid for commercial management operations in the district and are reflected in the bill sent to the landowner and the clerk and recorder; or

(b) contracting with a commercial applicator as defined in 80-8-102 if the issues of compliance are not resolved under an agreement proposed and accepted pursuant to 7-22-2132 and:

(i) the landowner does not take corrective action within the 10-day period provided for in 7-22-2133; or

(ii) the board does not receive a formal objection or the board of county commissioners does not receive a request for a hearing.

(2) A commercial applicator hired under this section shall carry all insurance required by the board.

(3) If a court issues an order approving a board's actions, the court retains jurisdiction over the matter:

(a) until the actions specified in the weed management plan or court order are complete;

(b) for the length of time specified in the order; or

(c) for 3 years if the order does not specify a time limit.

(4) After instituting appropriate noxious weed control measures, the board shall submit a copy of the bill, including the penalty provided for in subsection (4)(b), to the county clerk and recorder and, by certified mail, to the landowner that:

(a) covers the costs of the weed control measures;

(b) contains a penalty of 25% of the total cost incurred;

(c) itemizes the hours of labor, cost of material, equipment time, legal fees, and court costs or includes an invoice from a commercial applicator if the board contracted for weed control pursuant to subsection (1); and

(d) specifies that payment is due 30 days from the date the bill is received.

(5) If a landowner who received a notice to take corrective action requests an injunction or seeks to stay the corrective action in district court within 10 days of receipt of the notice, the board may not institute control measures until the matter is finally resolved, except in emergency situations.

(6) If the board declares an emergency and institutes appropriate measures to control the noxious weeds, the landowner who received the order is liable for costs as provided in subsection (4) only to the extent determined appropriate by the board, the board of county commissioners, or the court that finally resolves the matter.

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 301, L. 2013.