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

Article 1. Rights of Owners of Land Adjacent to Coal Mines.

§ 45.2-600. Consent required before working mine near land of another.

No owner or tenant of any land containing coal within the Commonwealth shall open or sink, dig, excavate, or work in any mine on such land within five feet of the line dividing such land from that of another person without the written consent of every person interested in or having title to such adjoining lands or mineral rights in possession, reversion, or remainder, or of the guardian of any such person if the person is under a disability. Any person who violates this section shall forfeit $500 to any person injured by such activity and to anyone whose consent is required but not obtained.

Code 1950, § 45-91; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-102; 1978, c. 118; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.310; 1997, c. 390; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-601. Adjacent owner to be permitted to survey mine; proceedings to compel entry for survey.

A. The owner, tenant, or occupant of any land or coal on or in which a mine is opened and worked, or his agent, shall permit any person interested in or having title to any land or mineral rights coterminal with that in which such mine is located to have ingress and egress with surveyors and assistants to explore and survey such mine at his own expense if such person has reason to believe his property is being trespassed upon. The purpose of such survey shall be to ascertain whether a violation of § 45.2-600 has occurred. However, such person is not entitled to enter the property more often than once a month. Every owner, tenant, occupant, or agent who refuses such permission, exploration, or survey shall forfeit $20 for each refusal to the person so refused.

B. The judge of the general district court of the county or city in which such mine is located, before whom any complaint of such refusal shall be made, may issue a summons to such owner, tenant, occupant, or agent to answer such complaint. On the return of the summons executed and proof that (i) the complainant has a right of entry and (ii) such right has been refused without sufficient cause, the judge shall designate an early and convenient time for such entry to be made and issue a warrant commanding the sheriff of the county or city to attend and prevent any obstruction or impediment to such entry, exploration, or survey. The costs of such summons and a fee of $3 to the sheriff executing the warrant shall be paid by the person whose refusal caused the complaint. If the court dismisses the complaint, the costs shall be paid by the party making the complaint.

Code 1950, §§ 45-92, 45-93; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-103; 1978, c. 118; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.311; 1997, c. 390; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.