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      RS 30:188     


§188.  Distribution of funds and administration of leases

A.  The applicant depositing the money, namely, the State Mineral and Energy Board, shall not be required to pay any costs in the proceedings.  All costs of all parties plaintiff, defendant, intervener, or otherwise, to the suit, shall be paid out of the funds deposited, with preference and priority over any and all persons.  However, the successful litigant for the funds deposited may recover all costs which have been paid out of the funds deposited, from the other litigant or litigants who contested his right thereto.

B.  At or after the conclusion of the proceedings instituted pursuant to R.S. 30:187, the State Mineral and Energy Board may, from time to time, employ any of the following procedures or combinations thereof, to effect the distribution of funds received by virtue of leases granted under R.S. 30:184, and for the administration of such leases:

(1)  The State Mineral and Energy Board may distribute such funds and administer such leases itself, either through its personnel or through persons with whom it contracts for such distribution and administration.

(2)  The State Mineral and Energy Board may create one or more trusts, naming one or more persons, firms, or corporations, as trustee or trustees, and transfer to such trustees any or all of its rights and duties under any or all such leases, for the benefit of the owners of the land or interests therein.  The State Mineral and Energy Board may impose such terms and conditions in the trust as it deems desirable, and, to the extent applicable and not in conflict with such terms and conditions, the Louisiana Trust Code shall thereafter govern such trust.  The term of the trust may be as long as any such leases are in force and effect, and the trustee or trustees shall be responsible for the distribution of such funds and administration of such leases.

(3)  The State Mineral and Energy Board, upon written notice to the court in which proceedings provided for in R.S. 30:187 have been instituted, may cause such court to distribute the funds and administer the leases.  The State Mineral and Energy Board shall deposit all funds received by it in the registry of such court and shall thereafter be relieved of all responsibilities therefor.  The court, in such proceedings, may appoint such experts to assist it as may be necessary, and may appoint a person as master or receiver for the purpose of performing and supervising the actual work of such distribution and administration.

C.  Any agency, entity or person charged with the responsibility for distribution of such funds and administration of the leases shall be entitled to deduct from any funds received by it under any such leases an amount equal to ten per cent (10%) thereof, to defray the costs and expenses of such distribution and administration.  Any court, however, shall be entitled to deduct from such funds the actual amount of expenses incurred in such proceedings, or ten per cent (10%) of such funds, whichever amount is greater. No distribution shall be made by any such agency, entity, person or Court unless the amounts so deducted and on hand are sufficient to defray the cost of such distribution.  Distribution may be made to owners quarterly, annually, or at such other intervals as may be deemed to be reasonable, giving consideration to the number of owners, the amount of income, and the costs of distribution.  If at the termination of the leases there remains on hand any amount so deducted and not needed to defray the costs of distribution and administration, such amount shall be distributed to the owners.

D.  If at any time the lands leased should become owned by fewer than one hundred persons or anytime after July 1, 2007, the agency, entity, person, or court then having the responsibility for such distribution and administration may execute an assignment or order transferring all rights, duties, and responsibilities under such leases to such co-owners as then certified by the trust and thereafter be relieved of all such rights, duties, and responsibilities with respect to such land and leases.

Acts 1952, No. 513, §8.  Amended by Acts 1960, No. 358, §1; Acts 1963, No. 120, §1; Acts 1964, Ex.Sess., No. 4, §1; Acts 2007, No. 451, §1; Acts 2009, No. 196, §2, eff. July 1, 2009.

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