Section 9-8-28

Land-use regulations - Enforcement.

Where the supervisors of any district shall find that any of the provisions of land-use regulations prescribed in an ordinance adopted in accordance with the provisions of Section 9-8-26 are not being observed on particular lands and that such nonobservance tends to increase erosion on such lands and is interfering with the prevention or control of erosion on other lands within the district, the supervisors may present to the circuit court of the county in which the land of the defendant may lie, a complaint, duly verified, setting forth the adoption of the ordinance prescribing land-use regulations, the failure of the defendant landowner to observe such regulations and to perform particular work, operations or avoidances as required thereby and that such nonobservance tends to increase erosion on such lands and is interfering with the prevention or control of erosion on other lands within the district and requesting the court to require the defendant to perform the work, operations or avoidances within a reasonable time and to order that, if the defendant shall fail so to perform, the supervisors may go on the land, and perform the work or other operations or otherwise bring the condition of such lands into conformity with the requirements of such regulations and recover the costs and expenses thereof, with interest, from the owner of such land. Upon the presentation of such complaint, the court shall cause process to be issued against the defendant and shall hear the case. If it shall appear to the court that testimony is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may take evidence or appoint a referee to take such evidence as it may direct and to report the same to the court with his findings of fact and conclusions of law, which shall constitute a part of the proceedings upon which the determination of the court shall be made. The court may dismiss the complaint or it may require the defendant to perform the work, operation or avoidances and may provide that, upon the failure of the defendant to initiate such performance within the time specified in the order of the court and to prosecute the same to completion with reasonable diligence, the supervisors or their agents may enter upon the lands involved and perform the work or operations or otherwise bring the condition of such lands into conformity with the requirements of the regulations and recover the costs and expenses thereof, with interest at the rate of five percent per annum, from the owner of such lands. The court shall retain jurisdiction of the case until after the work has been completed. Upon completion of such work pursuant to such order of the court, the supervisors may file a motion with the court, a copy of which shall be served upon the defendant in the case, stating the costs and expenses sustained by them in the performance of the work and praying judgment therefor with interest. The court shall have jurisdiction to enter judgment for the amount of such costs and expenses, with interest at the rate of five percent per annum until paid, together with the costs of the action, including a reasonable attorney's fee to be fixed by the court.

(Acts 1939, No. 147, p. 202, §10; Code 1940, T. 2, §666.)