State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

   [ Search ]   [ PDF text ]   [ Legislation ]   
[ Home ]   [ Back ]   [ Bottom ]

[ Introduced ][ Engrossed ][ House Amendment 001 ]
[ Senate Amendment 001 ]


SB104 Enrolled                                LRB9201635DHmbA

 1        AN ACT in relation to coal.

 2        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  1.  Short  title.   This Act may be cited as the
 5    Coal Rights Act.

 6        Section 5.  Purpose.  In recognition of the fact that  an
 7    estate  of  a  joint  owner  in  coal  can be enjoyed only by
 8    mining, removing, and selling the products of the  coal,  and
 9    that the mining, removal, and sale of coal by one joint owner
10    therefore  constitutes the use and not the destruction of the
11    common estate, the purpose of this  Act  is  to  clarify  the
12    rights  of joint owners of coal in this State, to promote and
13    preserve the value of coal reserves  in  the  State,  and  to
14    maximize  the  recovery  of  coal  through  the  orderly  and
15    efficient development of coal reserves for the benefit of all
16    joint owners in a fair and equitable manner.

17        Section 10.  Definitions.  As used in this Act:
18        "Joint  owner"  means  a person or entity that is a joint
19    tenant, a tenant in common, or a tenant by the entirety.
20        "Coal owner" means a person or entity vested with a whole
21    or undivided fee simple interest or other  freehold  interest
22    in  the  coal  estate,  but  "coal  owner" does not include a
23    person or entity with a leasehold or any other lesser estate.

24        Section 15.  Venue.   Proceedings under this Act must  be
25    brought  in  the  circuit  court  of the county in which coal
26    lands sought to be affected, or the major  portion  of  those
27    lands, is located.

28        Section 20.  Joint owners; trusts.
SB104 Enrolled             -2-                LRB9201635DHmbA
 1        (a)  If  the  title  to  coal  is owned by joint tenants,
 2    tenants in common, or tenants by the  entirety,  whether  the
 3    title  is  derived  by purchase, legacy, or descent, any coal
 4    owner or owners vested with at least a one-half  interest  in
 5    the  coal  under  the  lands,  or any coal lessee of the coal
 6    owner or owners, upon proper petition, shall be authorized to
 7    mine and remove coal from the land in the manner provided  in
 8    this  Act,  provided,  however,  that a petition shall not be
 9    authorized under this Act for the mining and removal of  coal
10    by  the  surface method of mining unless all of the owners of
11    the surface consent to the mining and removal of coal by  the
12    surface method of mining.
13        This  Act affects only coal owners, as defined in Section
14    10 of this Act, and does not affect  the  rights  of  surface
15    owners,  except  to  the  extent  that  they may also be coal
16    owners.
17        (b)  The circuit court of the county in  which  the  coal
18    lands  or  the major portion of those lands lie has the power
19    to declare a trust in those lands, appoint a trustee for  all
20    persons   owning   an  interest  in  the  coal  who  are  not
21    plaintiffs, and authorize the trustee to sell,  execute,  and
22    deliver  a valid lease on those lands on behalf of all of the
23    defendants on terms and conditions approved  by  the  circuit
24    court for the purposes provided in this Act.  The lease shall
25    continue  in  full  force and effect after the termination of
26    the trust unless the lease has previously expired by its  own
27    terms.

28        Section  25.  Proceedings  for  appointment  of  trustee.
29    Proceedings   for   the  appointment  of  a  trustee  may  be
30    instituted by any person or persons (i)  vested in fee simple
31    with at least an undivided  one-half  interest  in  the  coal
32    sought  to  be  developed  or  (ii)  vested  with a valid and
33    subsisting coal lease,  the  lessor  of  which  is  a  person
SB104 Enrolled             -3-                LRB9201635DHmbA
 1    defined in subdivision (i).

 2        Section 30.  Procedure.
 3        (a)  The  person  or  persons  seeking to impress a trust
 4    upon  a  coal  interest  for  the  purpose  of  leasing   and
 5    developing  it  shall join as the defendant or defendants all
 6    persons, other than the plaintiff  or  plaintiffs,  having  a
 7    legal  interest  in  the  coal.  All parties not in being who
 8    might have some contingent or future interest in the coal and
 9    all persons, whether in being or not  in  being,  having  any
10    interest, whether present, future, or contingent, in the coal
11    interest  sought  to  be  leased  shall be fully bound by the
12    proceedings.
13        (b)  A verified  petition  shall  be  filed  specifically
14    setting forth the following:
15             (1)  The request of the plaintiff or plaintiffs that
16        a  trustee  be  appointed to execute a lease granting the
17        plaintiff or plaintiffs the right to mine and remove coal
18        from the subject lands.
19             (2)  The legal description of the lands.
20             (3)  The interest of the plaintiff or plaintiffs  in
21        the coal underlying the lands.
22             (4)  The  apparent  interest  of  the  defendant  or
23        defendants in the coal underlying the lands.
24             (5)  That the plaintiff or plaintiffs are willing to
25        purchase  a  mineral  lease  covering the interest of the
26        defendant or defendants and that the existence  of  these
27        unleased  mineral interests is detrimental to and impairs
28        the  enjoyment  of  the  interest  of  the  plaintiff  or
29        plaintiffs.
30        (c)  If in any action there  are  persons  who  would  be
31    unknown  parties  as  defined in Section 2-413 of the Code of
32    Civil Procedure, those persons may be made defendants to  the
33    action  in  the  same  manner  and  with  the  same effect as
SB104 Enrolled             -4-                LRB9201635DHmbA
 1    provided in the Code of Civil Procedure.   The  defendant  or
 2    defendants  shall  be  given  notice  of  the pendency of the
 3    action by publication  as  provided  in  the  Code  of  Civil
 4    Procedure.
 5        (d)  The  court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for any
 6    party to the proceeding who is a ward and is not  represented
 7    by a guardian.
 8        (e)  If  it  appears  that  any person not in being, upon
 9    coming into being, is or  may  become  or  may  claim  to  be
10    entitled to any interest in the property sought to be leased,
11    the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to appear for and
12    represent  the  interest  in the proceeding and to defend the
13    proceeding on behalf of the person  not  in  being,  and  any
14    judgment  or order rendered in the proceeding is as effectual
15    for all purposes as though the person were in being and  were
16    a party to the proceeding.
17        (f)  The  court shall take evidence and hear testimony as
18    to the matters set forth in the petition.   The  court  shall
19    determine   the  prevailing  terms  of  similar  coal  leases
20    obtained in the  vicinity  of  the  lands  described  in  the
21    petition,  including,  but  not limited to, length of primary
22    term, bonus moneys, delay rentals, royalty rates,  and  other
23    forms  of  lease  payments.   If,  upon  taking  evidence and
24    hearing testimony, it appears that the  material  allegations
25    of  the  petition are true and that there has been compliance
26    with the notice provisions of this Act, the court shall enter
27    an order determining the interest of each  defendant  in  the
28    coal  sought  to  be  leased.  The court shall also appoint a
29    trustee  for  the  purpose  of  executing  in  favor  of  the
30    plaintiff or plaintiffs a coal lease covering the interest of
31    the defendant or defendants.   The  judgment  appointing  the
32    trustee  and  authorizing  the  execution  of the lease shall
33    specify the minimum  terms  which  may  be  accepted  by  the
34    trustee.   Those terms shall be substantially consistent with
SB104 Enrolled             -5-                LRB9201635DHmbA
 1    the terms of  other  similar  coal  leases  obtained  in  the
 2    vicinity  as  determined by the court.  The terms of the coal
 3    lease shall also be substantially consistent with  the  terms
 4    of other existing leases, if any, covering the remaining coal
 5    interests  in the lands described in the petition.  The lands
 6    to be covered by the coal lease shall be contiguous.  To  the
 7    extent  that  any  of the lands described in the petition are
 8    not contiguous to other lands in the  petition,  those  lands
 9    shall  be  the  subject  of  separate coal leases.  The court
10    shall determine a reasonable fee to be paid  to  the  trustee
11    and  that  fee,  together with the reasonable attorney's fees
12    and costs of the proceeding incurred by the trustee, shall be
13    paid by the plaintiff or plaintiffs.
14        (g)  The plaintiff or plaintiffs shall forthwith  furnish
15    the court with  a  report  of  proceedings  of  the  evidence
16    received  and testimony taken at the hearing on the petition,
17    and the report of proceedings shall be filed and made a  part
18    of the case record.
19        (h)  In   all   suits  under  this  Act,  the  court  may
20    investigate and determine all  questions  of  conflicting  or
21    controverted  titles,  remove  clouds  from  the title to the
22    coal, and establish and confirm the title to the coal or  the
23    right to mine and remove coal from any of the lands.
24        (i)  An action filed under this Act may be joined with an
25    action under the Severed Mineral Interest Act.

26        Section 35.  Coal leases; report by trustee.  The trustee
27    shall   enter   into   negotiations  with  the  plaintiff  or
28    plaintiffs and shall execute a coal lease  in  favor  of  the
29    plaintiff   or   plaintiffs  covering  the  interest  of  the
30    defendant or defendants.  The terms of the coal  lease  shall
31    be in accordance with the findings and judgment of the court.
32    The trustee shall forthwith prepare and file a report of sale
33    of  the  coal  lease  stating  the terms of the lease and the
SB104 Enrolled             -6-                LRB9201635DHmbA
 1    payments received for  the  lease  and  give  notice  to  all
 2    parties  appearing  of  record.   If the court finds that the
 3    sale was in accordance with its judgment, the sale  shall  be
 4    confirmed  by court order and the court shall order the trust
 5    terminated and the trustee and his or her bond discharged.

 6        Section 40.  Payment.  All moneys due to the defendant or
 7    defendants under the lease executed by the trustee  shall  be
 8    paid by the plaintiff or plaintiffs directly to the defendant
 9    or defendants.

10        Section  45.  Binding  effect of lease.   The sale of and
11    execution of any coal lease under this Act is binding in  all
12    respects  as to all of the interest in the coal and the right
13    to mine and  remove  the  coal  owned  by  the  defendant  or
14    defendants  to  the  action  in  the  same  manner  as if the
15    defendant or defendants had personally signed  and  delivered
16    the  lease.  The  lease  shall  be  binding  upon  the heirs,
17    legatees, personal representatives, successors,  and  assigns
18    of the defendant or defendants.

19        Section    50.  Incapacity    of    trustee;   subsequent
20    proceedings.
21        (a)  In the event of the  death  or  resignation  of  the
22    trustee  or  the  refusal or inability of the trustee to act,
23    the court, upon its own motion or  upon  the  motion  of  the
24    plaintiff or plaintiffs, shall appoint a successor trustee.
25        (b)  After  the entry of the initial judgment authorizing
26    a lease, all subsequent proceedings pertaining to  the  lands
27    and  the  coal  interest  involved in the initial litigation,
28    including subsequent leasing proceedings  or  proceedings  by
29    the  trustee  requesting  authority  to  execute  and deliver
30    additional documents pertaining to a  coal  lease,  shall  be
31    commenced  and prosecuted in the same case as the proceedings
SB104 Enrolled             -7-                LRB9201635DHmbA
 1    for the initial lease.  The acting trustee at the time of any
 2    subsequent proceedings shall act  as  the  trustee  in  those
 3    proceedings.     The  court shall retain continuing authority
 4    and jurisdiction to conduct the subsequent proceedings.

 5        Section 55.  Costs.  All  court  costs  incident  to  the
 6    proceedings  authorized  under  this Act shall be paid by the
 7    plaintiff or plaintiffs.

 8        Section 60.  Construction.  This Act shall  be  liberally
 9    construed  so  that  any  lease issued under this Act conveys
10    merchantable title.

11        Section 99.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect  upon
12    becoming law.

[ Top ]