Section 9-16-129

Property subject to lien; statement by director; amount; priority.

(a) Within six months after the completion of projects to restore, reclaim, abate, control or prevent adverse effects of past coal mining practices on privately owned land, the director shall itemize the moneys so expended and may file a statement thereof in the probate judge's office of the county in which the land lies together with a notarized appraisal by a qualified independent appraiser of the value of the land before the restoration, reclamation, abatement, control or prevention of adverse effects of past coal mining practices if the moneys so expended shall result in a significant increase in property value. Such statement shall constitute a lien upon the said land. The lien shall not exceed the amount determined by the appraisal to be the increase in the market value of the land as a result of the restoration, reclamation, abatement, control or prevention of the adverse effects of past coal mining practices. No lien shall be filed against the property of any person, in accordance with this section, who owned the surface prior to May 2, 1977, and who neither consented to nor participated in nor exercised control over the mining operation which necessitated the reclamation performed hereunder.

(b) Any owner of land subject to a lien imposed pursuant to this article may, within 60 days of the filing of the lien, file a petition in the circuit court of the county in which the land lies to determine the increase in the market value of the land as a result of the reclamation work. The amount determined by the court to be the increase in value of the premises shall constitute the amount of the lien and shall be recorded with the statement herein provided. Any party aggrieved by the decision may appeal as provided by law.

(c) The lien provided in this section shall be entered in the probate judge's office in the county in which the land lies. Such statement shall constitute a lien upon the said land as of the date of the expenditure of the moneys and shall have priority as a lien second only to the lien of real estate taxes imposed upon said land. Moneys derived from the satisfaction of liens shall be deposited in the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-210, p. 254, §10.)