Oregon Statutes - Chapter 540 - Distribution of Water; Watermasters; Change in Use, Transfer or Forfeiture of Water Rights - Section 540.120 - Lien for wages and expense; notice; foreclosure.

(1) If one or more of the water users concerned in a distribution or division under ORS 540.100 pay the wages and expenses for another user who fails to contribute a just share or proportion of the wages and expenses, the user paying the wages and expenses shall be entitled to a lien upon the lands of the delinquent user entitled to use of water, in the amount of the delinquent userís just share or proportion.

(2) The lien shall be made effective by filing written notice of intent to claim a lien for payment of wages and expenses under subsection (1) of this section with the county clerk of the county in which the lands of the delinquent water user are situated.

(3) The notice of intent filed under subsection (2) of this section shall:

(a) Be verified by the watermaster or assistant watermaster;

(b) Specify the particular items of wages and expenses for which the lien is claimed;

(c) Describe the lands of each water user upon which the lien is claimed; and

(d) State the name of the owner or reputed owner of the lands.

(4) The lien shall be filed within 60 days from the completion of the distribution or division, and suit to foreclose the lien shall be brought in the circuit court of the county in which the lands or any part of the lands are situated, within six months from the date of filing the notice of lien.

(5) The lien shall be foreclosed in the manner provided by law for the foreclosure of liens against real property. Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party in an action to foreclose a lien under this section.

(6) The court may not award attorney fees to the state or a political subdivision of the state if the state or political subdivision prevails in an action to foreclose a lien under this section.

(7) A lien filed under this section shall not be considered an exclusive remedy. [Amended by 1985 c.421 §10; 1995 c.696 §26]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008