Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 4. Presumptions Regarding Ownership
5/28/2022

§ 45.2-401. (Effective October 1, 2021) Actions to extinguish certain claims.

A. The owner or owners of land subject to a claim or right pursuant to § 45.2-400 separately or jointly may bring an action requesting the extinguishment of such claim or right. The person by whom such claim by such writing was derived or reserved, or his successors in title, shall be made a defendant by name so far as known or as defendants unknown if such successors in title are unknown. The venue for such action shall be as specified in subdivision 3 of § 8.01-261.

B. The court shall allow a period of not less than six months from the time the cause is docketed and set for hearing to elapse. During such time, the defendant may explore and discover any commercial coal, mineral, ore, oil, or subsurface substance.

C. In the absence of satisfactory evidence to the contrary, it shall be presumed that no commercial coal, mineral, ore, oil, or subsurface substance exists in or on the land, and the court shall enter an order declaring the claim or right to be a cloud on the title and releasing the land therefrom and extinguishing such claim or right. However, if the defendant or defendants prove that a commercial coal, mineral, ore, oil, or subsurface substance exists in or on the land, the court shall require such coal, mineral, ore, oil, or subsurface substance to be charged with taxes according to law.

1924, p. 720; 1930, p. 721; Michie Code 1942, § 6239a; 1944, p. 49; Code 1950, § 55-155; 1977, c. 624; 2019, c. 712, § 45.1-161.311:11; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.