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      RS 3:3610     


§3610.  Private agricultural property owner's right of action; remedies

A.  An owner of private agricultural property may bring an action against a governmental entity to determine whether the governmental action caused a diminution in value of a parcel of private agricultural property in which the owner has an interest.  The owner of the affected private agricultural property shall show that the diminution in value did not result from a restriction or prohibition of a use of the private agricultural property that  was not a use already prohibited by law.

B.  An action brought under the provisions of this Section may be filed in the state court that has jurisdiction over the property and the owner shall be entitled to a trial by jury.

C.  Owners and governmental entities are encouraged to seek resolution of actions brought under this Section through mediation or any other mutually agreeable alternative dispute resolution method prior to the filing of any action.  When a pending action has not been the subject of an attempted mediation, the court may require the parties to attempt mediation at any point in the proceedings prior to trial.

D.  In an action brought pursuant to this Section, upon a determination that a governmental action caused a diminution in value of private agricultural property, the owner shall, at the option of the owner, recover a sum equal to the diminution in value of the property and retain title thereto, or recover the entire fair market value of the property prior to the diminution in value of twenty percent or more and transfer title to the property to the governmental entity.

E.  The court in issuing any  final order in any action brought pursuant to this Section may award costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, to the prevailing party in addition to other remedies provided by law.

F.  If a property owner prevails in a suit filed as provided in this Section, the governmental entity may rescind or repeal the rule or regulation which caused the diminution in value of the property, and if such rule or regulation is rescinded or repealed the governmental entity shall be liable for damages sustained by the property owner to his affected property which were caused by the application of the rescinded or repealed rule or regulation.

Acts 1995, No. 302, §1.

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