Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 13. Railroad Corporations
11/27/2022

§ 56-433. Cattle guards; remedy of aggrieved landowner; penalty.

Every railroad company whose road passes through any enclosed lands in this Commonwealth shall construct and keep in good order cattle guards reasonably sufficient to prevent the passage of livestock of every kind over such land, at any point where a fence may be necessary or proper, whether it is a division fence between contiguous farms or between different parcels or tracts belonging to the same person, or a fence along a public highway. Such cattle guards shall be constructed on the request of the landowner, in writing, by certified mail, to the registered agent of such railroad. If the company refuses or fails, for ninety days after such request, to construct or maintain the cattle guards at the place designated, the owner, having given ten days' notice in writing to the registered agent, may apply to the circuit court of the county or city in which any such point is located for the appointment of three disinterested freeholders, whose duty it shall be to go on the land and determine whether the proposed cattle guard shall be constructed. Their decision shall be in writing, and shall be forthwith returned to and filed in the office of the clerk of such court. If such decision is that the cattle guard ought to be constructed, the company shall, within ninety days thereafter, construct the same. Upon its failure so to do, it shall pay to the landowner fifty dollars for every day of such failure. Any style of cattle guard approved by the State Corporation Commission shall, if properly constructed and maintained, be deemed a sufficient cattle guard within the meaning of this chapter. Any delay in construction or maintenance caused by inclement weather, war, strikes, acts of God, national emergencies or failure of any local, state, or federal governmental agencies to grant permits shall extend the aforesaid period.

Code 1919, § 3950; 1994, c. 352.

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.