30 U.S. Code § 613 - Procedure for determining title uncertainties

(a) Notice to mining claimants; request; publication; service
The head of a Federal department or agency which has the responsibility for administering surface resources of any lands belonging to the United States may file as to such lands in the office of the Secretary of the Interior, or in such office as the Secretary of the Interior may designate, a request for publication of notice to mining claimants, for determination of surface rights, which request shall contain a description of the lands covered thereby, showing the section or sections of the public land surveys which embrace the lands covered by such request, or if such lands are unsurveyed, either the section or sections which would probably embrace such lands when the public land surveys are extended to such lands or a tie by courses and distances to an approved United States mineral monument.
The filing of such request for publication shall be accompanied by an affidavit or affidavits of a person or persons over twenty-one years of age setting forth that the affiant or affiants have examined the lands involved in a reasonable effort to ascertain whether any person or persons were in actual possession of or engaged in the working of such lands or any part thereof, and, if no person or persons were found to be in actual possession of or engaged in the working of said lands or any part thereof on the date of such examination, setting forth such fact, or, if any person or persons were so found to be in actual possession or engaged in such working on the date of such examination, setting forth the name and address of each such person, unless affiant shall have been unable through reasonable inquiry to obtain information as to the name and address of any such person, in which event the affidavit shall set forth fully the nature and results of such inquiry.
The filing of such request for publication shall also be accompanied by the certificate of a title or abstract company, or of a title abstractor, or of an attorney, based upon such company’s abstractor’s, or attorney’s examination of those instruments which are shown by the tract indexes in the county office of record as affecting the lands described in said request, setting forth the name of any person disclosed by said instruments to have an interest in said lands under any unpatented mining claim heretofore located, together with the address of such person if such address is disclosed by such instruments of record. “Tract indexes” as used herein shall mean those indexes, if any, as to surveyed lands identifying instruments as affecting a particular legal subdivision of the public land surveys, and as to unsurveyed lands identifying instruments as affecting a particular probable legal subdivision according to a projected extension of the public land surveys.
Thereupon the Secretary of the Interior, at the expense of the requesting department or agency, shall cause notice to mining claimants to be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the county in which the lands involved are situate.
Such notice shall describe the lands covered by such request, as provided heretofore, and shall notify whomever it may concern that if any person claiming or asserting under, or by virtue of, any unpatented mining claim heretofore located, rights as to such lands or any part thereof, shall fail to file in the office where such request for publication was filed (which office shall be specified in such notice) and within one hundred and fifty days from the date of the first publication of such notice (which date shall be specified in such notice), a verified statement which shall set forth, as to such unpatented mining claim—
(1) the date of location;
(2) the book and page of recordation of the notice or certificate of location;
(3) the section or sections of the public land surveys which embrace such mining claims; or if such lands are unsurveyed, either the section or sections which would probably embrace such mining claim when the public land surveys are extended to such lands or a tie by courses and distances to an approved United States mineral monument;
(4) whether such claimant is a locator or purchaser under such location; and
(5) the name and address of such claimant and names and addresses so far as known to the claimant of any other person or persons claiming any interest or interests in or under such unpatented mining claim;
such failure shall be conclusively deemed
(i) to constitute a waiver and relinquishment by such mining claimant of any right, title, or interest under such mining claim contrary to or in conflict with the limitations or restrictions specified in section 612 of this title as to hereafter located unpatented mining claims, and
(ii) to constitute a consent by such mining claimant that such mining claim, prior to issuance of patent therefor, shall be subject to the limitations and restrictions specified in section 612 of this title as to hereafter located unpatented mining claims, and
(iii) to preclude thereafter, prior to issuance of patent, any assertion by such mining claimant of any right or title to or interest in or under such mining claim contrary to or in conflict with the limitations or restrictions specified in section 612 of this title as to hereafter located unpatented mining claims.
If such notice is published in a daily paper, it shall be published in the Wednesday issue for nine consecutive weeks, or, if in a weekly paper, in nine consecutive issues, or if in a semiweekly or triweekly paper, in the issue of the same day of each week for nine consecutive weeks.
Within fifteen days after the date of first publication of such notice, the department or agency requesting such publication
(1) shall cause a copy of such notice to be personally delivered to or to be mailed by registered mail or by certified mail addressed to each person in possession or engaged in the working of the land whose name and address is shown by an affidavit filed as aforesaid, and to each person who may have filed, as to any lands described in said notice, a request for notices, as provided in subsection (d) of this section, and shall cause a copy of such notice to be mailed by registered mail or by certified mail to each person whose name and address is set forth in the title or abstract company’s or title abstractor’s or attorney’s certificate filed as aforesaid, as having an interest in the lands described in said notice under any unpatented mining claim heretofore located, such notice to be directed to such person’s address as set forth in such certificate; and
(2) shall file in the office where said request for publication was filed an affidavit showing that copies have been so delivered or mailed.
(b) Failure to file verified statement
If any claimant under any unpatented mining claim heretofore located which embraces any of the lands described in any notice published in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, shall fail to file a verified statement, as provided in such subsection (a), within one hundred and fifty days from the date of the first publication of such notice, such failure shall be conclusively deemed, except as otherwise provided in subsection (e) of this section,
(i) to constitute a waiver and relinquishment by such mining claimant of any right, title, or interest under such mining claim contrary to or in conflict with the limitations or restrictions specified in section 612 of this title as to hereafter located unpatented mining claims, and
(ii) to constitute a consent by such mining claimant that such mining claim, prior to issuance of patent therefor, shall be subject to the limitations and restrictions specified in section 612 of this title as to hereafter located unpatented mining claims, and
(iii) to preclude thereafter, prior to issuance of patent, any assertion by such mining claimant of any right or title to or interest in or under such mining claim contrary to or in conflict with the limitations or restrictions specified in section 612 of this title as to hereafter located unpatented mining claims.
(c) Hearings
If any verified statement shall be filed by a mining claimant as provided in subsection (a) of this section, then the Secretary of Interior shall fix a time and place for a hearing to determine the validity and effectiveness of any right or title to, or interest in or under such mining claim, which the mining claimant may assert contrary to or in conflict with the limitations and restrictions specified in section 612 of this title as to hereafter located unpatented mining claims, which place of hearing shall be in the county where the lands in question or parts thereof are located, unless the mining claimant agrees otherwise. Where verified statements are filed asserting rights to an aggregate of more than twenty mining claims, any single hearing shall be limited to a maximum of twenty mining claims unless the parties affected shall otherwise stipulate and as many separate hearing  [1] shall be set as shall be necessary to comply with this provision. The procedures with respect to notice of such a hearing and the conduct thereof, and in respect to appeals shall follow the then established general procedures and rules of practice of the Department of the Interior in respect to contests or protests affecting public lands of the United States. If, pursuant to such a hearing the final decision rendered in the matter shall affirm the validity and effectiveness of any mining claimant’s so asserted right or interest under the mining claim, then no subsequent proceedings under this section shall have any force or effect upon the so-affirmed right or interest of such mining claimant under such mining claim. If at any time prior to a hearing the department or agency requesting publication of notice and any person filing a verified statement pursuant to such notice shall so stipulate, then to the extent so stipulated, but only to such extent, no hearing shall be held with respect to rights asserted under that verified statement, and to the extent defined by the stipulation the rights asserted under that verified statement shall be deemed to be unaffected by that particular published notice.
(d) Request for copy of notice
Any person claiming any right under or by virtue of any unpatented mining claim heretofore located and desiring to receive a copy of any notice to mining claimants which may be published as provided in subsection (a) of this section, and which may affect lands embraced in such mining claim, may cause to be filed for record in the county office of record where the notice or certificate of location of such mining claim shall have been recorded, a duly acknowledged request for a copy of any such notice. Such request for copies shall set forth the name and address of the person requesting copies and shall also set forth, as to each heretofore located unpatented mining claim under which such person asserts rights—
(1) the date of location;
(2) the book and page of the recordation of the notice or certificate of location; and
(3) the section or sections of the public land surveys which embrace such mining claim; or if such lands are unsurveyed, either the section or sections which would probably embrace such mining claim when the public land surveys are extended to such lands or a tie by courses and distances to an approved United States mineral monument.
Other than in respect to the requirements of subsection (a) of this section as to personal delivery or mailing of copies of notices and in respect to the provisions of subsection (e) of this section, no such request for copies of published notices and no statement or allegation in such request and no recordation thereof shall affect title to any mining claim or to any land or be deemed to constitute constructive notice to any person that the person requesting copies has, or claims, any right, title, or interest in or under any mining claim referred to in such request.
(e) Failure to deliver or mail copy of notice
If any department or agency requesting publication shall fail to comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section as to the personal delivery or mailing of a copy of notice to any person, the publication of such notice shall be deemed wholly ineffectual as to that person or as to the rights asserted by that person and the failure of that person to file a verified statement, as provided in such notice, shall in no manner affect, diminish, prejudice or bar any rights of that person.


[1]  So in original. Probably should be “hearings”.

Source

(July 23, 1955, ch. 375, § 5,69 Stat. 369; Pub. L. 86–507, § 1(26),June 11, 1960, 74 Stat. 201.)
Amendments

1960—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 86–507inserted “or by certified mail” after “registered mail” in two places in last paragraph.

 

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