State of South Dakota  

283U0076   HOUSE BILL   NO.  1002  

Introduced by:    Representatives Hoffman, Hawley, Magstadt, Olson (Betty), Rozum, Schrempp, and Solum and Senators Rampelberg, Maher, Rhoden, Sutton, and Tieszen at the request of the Interim Oil and Gas Study Committee

        FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to provide for the creation of a trust account for unlocatable mineral interest owners.
    Section 1. A person that owns a mineral interest, leasehold, or royalty interest underlying a 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 or any other owner of the same mineral interest, leasehold, or royalty interest if the place of residence and present whereabouts of the owner is unknown and cannot be reasonably ascertained.
    Section 2. In requesting the creation of a trust provided for in section 1 of this Act, the petitioner shall show 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.
    Section 3. If the court determines the petitioner meets the burdens provided for in section 2 of this Act, the court shall declare a trust in favor of the unlocatable owner, shall appoint the

county treasurer as trustee of the trust, and shall authorize the county treasurer to execute and deliver a mineral lease, a ratification, a division order, or any other related document or instrument on the terms and conditions as the court may approve.
    Section 4. The trustee shall administer the trust in compliance with the provisions regulating trusts and trustees in Title 55. Except as provided in this Act, trustee or attorney's fees may not be paid from the trust proceeds. 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, the trustee shall credit fifty percent of the moneys paid to the general fund of the county where the trustee is located to defray the costs of administration. The trustee shall invest the funds in a prudent manner.
    Section 5. A trust in favor of unlocatable owners is to remain in force until the unlocatable owner in question successfully claims the funds held in trust and files the notice as provided in section 6 of this Act. The trustee shall distribute all moneys held in the trust 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 Act are subject to the laws governing abandoned property as provided in chapter 42-41B.
    Section 6. A person claiming ownership of a mineral interest, leasehold, or royalty interest that is the subject of a trust established pursuant to section 1 of this Act 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.