Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 3. Improvements

Arbitrators To Fix Value Of Improvements

77-6-306. Arbitrators to fix value of improvements. (1) If the owner of any improvements on state lands of the type authorized by law at the time they were placed on state lands desires to sell these improvements to the new lessee and they are unable to agree on the value of the improvements pursuant to 77-6-302, the value must be ascertained and fixed by three arbitrators, one of whom is appointed by the owner of the improvements, one by the new lessee, and the third by the two appointed arbitrators. If any party refuses to appoint an arbitrator within 15 days of being requested to do so by the director of the department, the director may appoint an arbitrator for that party. An arbitrator appointed by the director has the same duties and powers as if appointed by one of the parties. The value of the improvements must be ascertained and fixed pursuant to 77-6-302.

(2) The reasonable compensation that the arbitrators may fix for their services must be paid in equal shares by the owner of the improvements and the new lessee.

(3) The value of the improvements ascertained and fixed is binding on both parties. If either party is dissatisfied with the valuation, the party may within 10 days appeal from the decision to the department. The department shall examine the records pertaining to the costs of the improvements, and except as provided in subsection (4), its decision is final. The department shall charge and collect the actual cost of the reexamination to the owner and the new lessee in the proportion as, in its judgment, justice may demand.

(4) If either party is dissatisfied with the valuation fixed by the department, the party may within 30 days after receipt of the department's decision petition the district court in the county in which the majority of the state land is located for judicial review of the decision.

History: En. Sec. 22, Ch. 60, L. 1927; re-en. Sec. 1805.22, R.C.M. 1935; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 260, L. 1963; Sec. 81-406, R.C.M. 1947; redes. 81-421.1 and amd. by Sec. 13, Ch. 428, L. 1973; R.C.M. 1947, 81-421.1; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 38, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 586, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 327, Ch. 418, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 476, L. 2005.