43 U.S. Code § 544 - Limitation as to holdings prior to final payment of charges; forfeiture of excess holding

§ 544.
Limitation as to holdings prior to final payment of charges; forfeiture of excess holding

No person shall at any one time or in any manner, except as hereinafter otherwise provided, acquire, own, or hold irrigable land for which entry or water-right application shall have been made under the said reclamation Act of June 17, 1902 and Acts supplementary thereto and amendatory thereof, before final payment in full of all installments of building and betterment charges shall have been made on account of such land in excess of one farm unit as fixed by the Secretary of the Interior as the limit of area per entry of public land or per single ownership of private land for which a water right may be purchased respectively, nor in any case in excess of one hundred and sixty acres, nor shall water be furnished under said Acts nor a water right sold or recognized for such excess; but any such excess land acquired by foreclosure or other process of law, by conveyance in satisfaction of mortgages, by inheritance, or by devise, may be held for five years and no longer after its acquisition, and water may be temporarily furnished during that time; and every excess holding prohibited as aforesaid shall be forfeited to the United States by proceedings instituted by the Attorney General for that purpose in any court of competent jurisdiction. The above provision shall be recited in every patent and water-right certificate issued by the United States under the provisions of this subchapter.

(Aug. 9, 1912, ch. 278, § 3, 37 Stat. 266; July 11, 1956, ch. 563, § 2, 70 Stat. 524.)
References in Text

The reclamation Act of June 17, 1902, referred to in text, is identified in section 541 of this title as act June 17, 1902, ch. 1093, 32 Stat. 388, which is classified generally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 371 of this title and Tables.


Section comprises part of section 3 of act Aug. 9, 1912. Remainder of section 3 is set out as section 543 of this title.


1956—Act July 11, 1956, increased period during which land could be held from two years to five years, and to authorize delivery of water for that period.

Amendment of Existing Contracts

For provisions authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to amend existing contracts under the Federal reclamation laws to conform to the provisions of this section, see section 3 of act July 11, 1956, set out as a note under section 423e of this title.

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43 CFR - Public Lands: Interior



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