Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 4. Utilization of Water

Procedure For Declaring Appropriation Rights Abandoned

85-2-405. Procedure for declaring appropriation rights abandoned. (1) When the department has reason to believe that an appropriator may have abandoned an appropriation right under 85-2-404 or when another appropriator in the opinion of the department files a valid claim that the appropriator has been or will be injured by the resumption of use of an appropriation right alleged to have been abandoned, the department shall petition the district court that determined the existing rights in the source of the appropriation in question to hold a hearing to determine whether the appropriation right has been abandoned. Proceedings under this section must be conducted in accordance with the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure, and appeal must be taken in accordance with the Montana Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(2) At the hearing, the burden of proof is on the department, which shall establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the appropriation has been abandoned under 85-2-404.

(3) The determination of the court must be appended to the final decree. The department shall keep a copy of the determination in its office in Helena.

History: En. Sec. 31, Ch. 452, L. 1973; R.C.M. 1947, 89-895; amd. Sec. 2761, Ch. 56, L. 2009.