Arizona Revised Statutes - Title 37 Public Lands - Section 37-1131 Notice to landowners; quiet title action
37-1131. Notice to landowners; quiet title action
A. If the commission determines a watercourse to be navigable as provided in section 37-1128, the state land department shall do the following before it files any quiet title action regarding public trust property beneath or adjacent to the watercourse:
1. Collect information and perform land surveys that are necessary to determine the boundaries of the bed of the watercourse. The bed of the watercourse to which the state claim applies is the bed of the watercourse existing on the date of the commission's determination, unless the preponderance of the evidence establishes a different location. Before making this determination, the department shall provide public notice and any opportunity for comment by the public.
2. Compile a complete description of each parcel of land lying wholly or partially in the bed of the watercourse, including record title ownership by any person, and a complete title search of each parcel to show how and when the lands were first conveyed in apparent violation of the public trust.
3. If the land was conveyed in apparent violation of the public trust by an agency of the United States, bring an action against the United States for damages and prosecute the action to final judgment. Any damages collected shall be placed in the riparian trust fund established by section 37-1156.
B. At least thirty days before entering onto any lands in or adjacent to the bed of a watercourse as required for purposes of this section, the department shall notify any record title owner of the property by certified mail of the intention to inspect the property. The notice shall:
1. State the period during which the department or the department's consultant intends to inspect the property and that the inspection is required under subsection A of this section.
2. Describe the activities that the department or the department's consultant intends to perform on the property.
C. Within thirty days after compiling the parcel information pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section the department shall notify each record owner or lessee of property that is located in the bed of the navigable watercourse and each person and entity that have an interest of record in the property of the commission's determination and that, by virtue of the determination, all or a portion of the property will be claimed as public trust land of this state in a quiet title action. The notice shall include:
1. The name of the watercourse and the date of the determination of navigability pursuant to section 37-1128.
2. The legal description and acreage of the parcels that the department has determined to be in the bed of the watercourse.
3. A statement that record title owners, lessees and parties having an interest of record in the parcels have a right to appeal the department's determination of the parcel boundaries within thirty days after receiving the notice as provided by title 41, chapter 6, article 10.
D. The department shall not commence an action to quiet title to land under this article until the commission has issued a final determination regarding the navigability of the watercourse pursuant to section 37-1128 and that determination is subject to no further judicial review pursuant to section 37-1129.
E. Venue for any action to quiet title under this section is proper only in the superior court in the county in which the affected lands are located, but the court may grant or deny requests for change of venue pursuant to title 12, chapter 4, article 1.
F. The department shall join as parties to any action to quiet title under this section each record owner of, and each person or entity that has an interest of record in, any property in the county that may be affected by this state's claim to ownership of the bed of the affected watercourse, but this requirement does not constitute grounds for dismissing the action if the persons or entities not joined are not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state.Sections: Previous 37-1122 37-1123 37-1124 37-1126 37-1128 37-1129 37-1130 37-1131 37-1132 37-1151 37-1152 37-1153 37-1154 37-1155 37-1156 Next
Last modified: February 20, 2012