2005 Connecticut Code - Sec. 47-33q. Dormant Mineral Interests Act: Termination of dormant mineral interest.

      Sec. 47-33q. Dormant Mineral Interests Act: Termination of dormant mineral interest. (a) The owner of the fee simple title to any real property subject to a dormant mineral interest in any other person or entity may maintain an action to terminate such dormant mineral interest. A mineral interest is dormant for the purpose of sections 47-33m to 47-33t, inclusive, if the interest is unused within the meaning of subsection (c) of this section for a period of twenty years immediately preceding commencement of the action. The action shall be brought in the manner of and requires the same notice as an action to quiet title to real property under sections 47-31 to 47-33, inclusive, and may be maintained whether the owner of the mineral interest or the whereabouts of the owner is known or unknown. No disability or lack of knowledge of any kind on the part of any person suspends the running of the twenty-year period. If the court finds that the mineral interest described in the complaint is unused within the meaning of subsection (c) of this section for twenty or more years preceding the commencement of the action, it shall enter a decree declaring the dormant mineral interest to be extinguished and terminated.

      (b) In an action to terminate a mineral interest pursuant to sections 47-33m to 47-33t, inclusive, the court, upon application of any person alleging to be an owner of a mineral interest in the land described in the complaint shall permit such person to record a late notice of intent to preserve such mineral interest in accordance with section 47-33r upon payment to the plaintiff of such litigation expenses as the court may award. In this subsection "litigation expenses" means costs and expenses as may be determined by the court to have been reasonably and necessarily incurred in the preparation for and the prosecution of the action, including a reasonable attorney's fee. Upon the recordation of such late notice of intent to preserve a mineral interest, the court shall dismiss the action unless the plaintiff within fifteen days of the court's order permitting the recording of such late notice of intent to preserve the mineral interest files a motion with the court for permission to continue the action as an action to quiet title of the land described in the complaint, pursuant to sections 47-31 to 47-33, inclusive. If the court grants such motion, the action shall continue as an action to quiet the title to such land in the manner provided by law.

      (c) Any of the following actions taken in relation to any mineral interest constitutes use of that mineral interest for the purpose of this section if the action was taken by or under authority of the owner of the mineral interest:

      (1) Production, geophysical exploration, exploratory or developmental drilling, mining, exploitation, development or other active mineral operations on or below the surface of real property which is subject to a mineral interest. Injection of substances for purposes of disposal or storage is not an active mineral operation within the meaning of this subdivision. Active mineral operations constitute use of any mineral interest owned by any person in any mineral that is the object of the operations.

      (2) Payment of taxes on a separate property tax assessment of the mineral interest or on a mineral transfer or severance tax relating to the mineral interest.

      (3) Recordation of an instrument that transfers, leases, conveys, assigns or divides a mineral interest, or creates a security interest or lien against such mineral interest, including an instrument that evidences a transfer of the title to such mineral interest, such as a probate certificate of distribution or devise.

      (4) Recordation of an instrument for the purpose of preserving and keeping effective a mineral interest in accordance with section 47-33r.

      (5) Recordation of a certified copy of a judgment or decree which makes specific reference to the mineral interest, provided such judgment makes reference to or includes a legal description of the fee estate which is subject to the mineral interest and the names of all record owners of such fee estate and is indexed by the town clerk in the grantor index in the names of all such record owners of the fee estate.

      (P.A. 87-283, S. 5.)


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