2017 Session Laws

CHAPTER 189

(HB 1081)

Trust established for an unlocatable mineral owner.


        ENTITLED, An Act to revise certain provisions for establishing a trust for an unlocatable mineral owner.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:

    Section 1. That § 43-30B-1 be amended to read:

    43-30B-1. A Any person that owns a mineral interest, leasehold, or royalty interest underlying a or entity who holds an interest in a particular tract of land may petition the court of proper jurisdiction in the county where the tract of land, or a part of the tract of land, is located to declare a trust in favor of any other an owner of the same a mineral interest, leasehold, or royalty interest if the place of residence and present whereabouts in the particular tract of land if the location or identity of the owner is unknown and cannot be reasonably ascertained determined.

    Section 2. That § 43-30B-2 be amended to read:

    43-30B-2. In requesting the creation of a trust provided for in § 43-30B-1, If the petitioner shall show can demonstrate that the petitioner made a diligent but unsuccessful effort to locate the absent owner and that the creation of a trust and the appointment of a trustee is in the best interest of the unlocatable owner and that the petitioner cannot, after due diligence, locate or identify the owner, the court may create a trust, as provided for in § 43-30B-1.

    Section 3. That § 43-30B-3 be amended to read:

    43-30B-3. If the court determines the petitioner meets the burdens provided for in § 43-30B-2, the court shall declare a trust in favor of the unlocatable unlocated or unidentified mineral owner, shall appoint a the county treasurer or another person or entity as trustee of the trust, and shall authorize the trustee to execute and deliver a mineral lease, a ratification, a division order, or any other related document or instrument on the such terms and conditions as the court may approve. The county treasurer may decline to act as the trustee and in such event the court shall appoint an alternate trustee. The court may issue other appropriate orders upon request of the petitioner or trustee.

    Section 4. That § 43-30B-4 be amended to read:

    43-30B-4. The Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the trustee shall administer the trust in compliance with the provisions regulating trusts and trustees in title 55. The trustee may engage agents to assist in the administration of the trust. Trustee or attorney fees, agent fees, and any other administrative costs must be reasonable and may be paid from the trust proceeds if approved upon approval by the court of proper jurisdiction. All bonuses, rental payments, royalties, and other income shall be paid to the trustee until the trust is terminated and notice

of the termination is given to all interested parties. Upon receipt. If the county treasurer or other county official or employee is the trustee, the trustee shall credit fifty percent of the moneys trustee's fee shall be paid to the general fund of the county where the mineral is located to defray the costs of administration. The. A county official acting as trustee shall account for, keep, and invest the funds in a prudent the same manner as other county funds. If the bonuses, rental payments, royalties, and other income paid to the trust are not sufficient to pay trustee fees, agent fees, and any other administrative costs paid by the trustee, the petitioner shall indemnify the fund for such costs and expenses.

    Section 5. That § 43-30B-5 be amended to read:

    43-30B-5. A trust in favor of an unlocatable owners is to or unidentifiable mineral owner shall remain in force until the unlocatable owner in question successfully claims the funds held in trust and files the notice as provided in § 43-30B-6. The trustee shall distribute all moneys remaining in the trust following distribution to the county and payment of trustee and attorney fees as provided in § 43-30B-4 to the person entitled to the money upon the order of a court of proper jurisdiction. A person who succeeds to ownership of a mineral interest by any means owns the mineral interest and the proceeds from the mineral interest from the date of succession. Funds held in trust pursuant to this chapter are subject to the laws governing abandoned property as provided in chapter 43-41B an order of the court is entered, after such notice as may be required by the court, finding that an owner has appeared and been identified. The court shall fix the date upon which the owner is deemed to have owned the interest. The court shall determine the division of the remaining funds of the trust, provide for the payment of fees and expenses to dissolve and distribute the trust, and determine any other matters raised by the petitioner, owner, or trustee.

    Section 6. That § 43-30B-6 be amended to read:

    43-30B-6. A person claiming ownership of a mineral interest, leasehold, or royalty interest that is the subject of a trust established pursuant to § 43-30B-1 may record with the recorder of each county where the land overlaying the mineral interest is located a notice containing the person's address with a description of the person's ownership interest. Recording the interest pursuant to this section creates a rebuttable presumption that the person owns the interest claimed. No act taken by or upon the permission of a trustee, petitioner, or court under this chapter shall be considered use of a mineral interest under chapter 43-30A.

    Section 7. That § 43-30B-7 be repealed.

     Signed February 23, 2017
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