Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 6. Coal Mining Property, Interests, Adjacent Owners, and Dams

§ 45.2-615. Restoration of property to owner or operator.

A. Whenever (i) the owner or operator engaged in the business of the mining, production, or marketing of coal whose property has been acquired by the Commission notifies the Commission in writing that he can and will resume operation and render normal service, and satisfies the Commission of the correctness of such notice, or (ii) in the judgment of the Governor, the emergency declared by him no longer exists, the Commission shall restore the possession of the property so acquired by it to such owner or operator upon his request. In the event the Commission refuses such restoration of possession, the owner or operator shall have the right to have a ruling issued requiring the Commission to show cause why such possession shall not be restored, and the court shall determine the matter as provided in this section.

B. Any such owner or operator shall be entitled to receive reasonable, proper, and lawful compensation for the use of the property acquired by the Commonwealth pursuant to this article and shall be paid such compensation out of the state treasury. In the event the Commission has acquired such property by purchase, the owner or operator from whom it was acquired shall, upon reacquisition, repay the purchase price less fair compensation for the use of such property. In the event the Commission and the owner or operator are unable to agree upon the amount of such compensation, either party in interest may file a petition in the circuit court for the county or city in which the property is located for the purpose of having the amount of compensation judicially determined. The court shall, without a jury, hear such evidence and argument of counsel as it deems appropriate and (i) render judgment thereon or (ii) refer to a commissioner such questions as are considered proper and act upon the commissioner's report as in any other civil proceeding. An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeals from any final judgment of the court rendered upon the provisions of this article.

Code 1950, § 45-153; 1950, p. 32; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-153; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.322; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 387, 489.

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.