Title 29: Public Property and Supplies
Chapter 14: NATURAL GAS AND OIL CONSERVATION
29 V.S.A. § 552. Illegal oil, gas or product declared contraband
§ 552. Illegal oil, gas or product declared contraband
(a) Illegal oil, gas and product are declared to be contraband and are subject to seizure and sale. Seizure and sale shall be in addition to all other remedies and penalties provided in this chapter.
(b) Whenever the board believes that any oil, gas or product is illegal, the board, acting by the attorney general, may bring a civil action in the superior court of the county where the oil, gas or product is found, to seize and sell the same, or the board may include such an action in any suit brought for an injunction or penalty. Any person claiming an interest in oil, gas or product, affected by such an action shall have the right to intervene as an interested party.
(c) Any person having an interest in oil, gas or product alleged to be illegal and contesting the right of the state to seize and sell the same may obtain its release prior to sale upon furnishing a bond to the court. The bond shall be:
(1) in an amount equal to 150 percent of the market value of the oil, gas or product to be released;
(2) conditioned upon either redelivery of the released commodity or payment of its market value, if and when ordered by the court; and
(3) conditioned upon full compliance with all further orders of the court.
(d) If the court finds that the oil, gas or product is contraband, the court shall order its sale by the sheriff.
(1) Upon such sale, title to the oil, gas or product shall vest in the purchaser free of all claims, and it shall be legal oil, gas or product in the hands of the purchaser.
(2) All proceeds which are derived from the sale of illegal oil, gas or product, less the costs of suit and expenses of sale, shall be paid into the general fund. (Added 1981, No. 240 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 28, 1982.)