Section 9-17-22

Illegal oil, gas or product - Seizure, condemnation and sale.

Apart from and in addition to any other remedy or procedure which may be available to the board or any penalty which may be sought against or imposed upon any person with respect to violations relating to illegal oil, illegal gas or illegal product, all illegal oil, illegal gas and illegal products shall, except under such circumstances as are stated in this section, be contraband, forfeited to the State of Alabama and shall be seized and sold and the proceeds applied as provided in this section. When any such seizure shall have been made, it shall be the duty of the Attorney General of the state to institute at once condemnation proceedings in the circuit court of the county in which such property is seized by filing a complaint in the name of the state against the property seized, describing the same, or against the person or persons in possession of such illegal property, if known, to obtain a judgment enforcing the forfeiture. Any party claiming a superior right may intervene in said action by filing a complaint and have his claim adjudicated. The judge presiding in said circuit court may superintend and make all proper orders as to the method and manner of notice to be given to any party claiming any right in the property so seized to come in and assert his right thereto. The said court shall have authority to frame all orders of procedure so as to regulate the proceedings whereby persons may have an opportunity to come in and propound their claim to the seized property sought to be condemned.

The proceeds of the sale of any such property forfeited to the state shall, after paying all expenses of seizing, holding and selling such property, including the costs of court, be paid into the Oil and Gas Fund. The property sold shall be treated as legal oil, legal gas or legal product, as the case may be, in the hands of the purchaser, but the purchaser and the commodity shall be subject to all applicable laws, rules, regulations and orders with respect to further sale or purchase or acquisition and with respect to the transportation, refining, processing or handling in any other way of the commodity purchased. Nothing in this section shall deny or abridge any cause of action which a royalty owner or a lien holder or any other claimant may have because of the forfeiture of the illegal oil, illegal gas or illegal product against the person whose act resulted in such forfeiture.

(Acts 1945, No. 1, p. 1, §23.)