TX NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

TITLE 3. OIL AND GAS

SUBTITLE A. ADMINISTRATION

CHAPTER 115. REGULATION OF CERTAIN TRANSPORTERS OF OIL OR PETROLEUM

SUBCHAPTER C. FORFEITURE OF UNLAWFUL OIL OR PETROLEUM PRODUCT



§ 115.031. FORFEITURE AUTHORIZED.
     Unlawful oil and unlawful petroleum products, regardless of the date of production or manufacture, are declared to be a nuisance and shall be forfeited to this state as provided by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 166, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

§ 115.032. REPORT TO ATTORNEY GENERAL.
     On the discovery of unlawful oil or an unlawful petroleum product, a member of the commission, an agent or employee of the commission, or a peace officer shall immediately file with the attorney general a report that describes the unlawful oil or unlawful petroleum product. The report must state the ownership, party in possession, amount, location, and classification of the oil or petroleum product.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 166, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

§ 115.033. ACTION IN REM.
     (a) If the attorney general is advised of the presence of unlawful oil or an unlawful petroleum product, the attorney general shall bring an action in rem in the name of the state in Travis County or in the county in which the oil or petroleum product is located against the unlawful oil or petroleum product and against each person who owns, claims, or is in possession of the oil or petroleum product.
     (b) If it appears to the court from an examination of the petition or after hearing evidence on the petition at a preliminary hearing that the unlawful oil or petroleum product mentioned in the petition is in danger of being removed, wasted, lost, or destroyed, the court shall:
          (1) issue restraining orders or injunctive relief, either mandatory or prohibitive;
          (2) appoint a receiver to take charge of the oil or petroleum product; or
          (3) direct the sheriff of the county in which the unlawful oil or petroleum product is located to seize and impound the oil or petroleum product pending further orders of the court.
     (c) A party to the action may demand a trial by jury on any issue of fact raised by the pleadings, and the case shall proceed to trial in the manner provided for other civil cases.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 166, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

§ 115.034. FORFEITURE SALE.
     (a) If, on the trial of the action, the oil or petroleum product in controversy is found to be unlawful, the court shall render judgment forfeiting the oil or petroleum product to this state. The court shall issue an order of sale directing the sheriff or a constable of the county in which the oil or petroleum product is located to seize and sell the oil or petroleum product in the same manner as personal property is sold under execution. The court may order the oil or petroleum product sold in whole or in part.
     (b) The sale shall be conducted at the courthouse door of the county in which the oil or petroleum product is located.
     (c) The court shall apply the money realized from the sale first to the payment of the costs of the action and expenses incident to the sale of the oil or petroleum product. The court may then use not more than one-half of the money to compensate a person for expenses incurred in storing the unlawful oil or petroleum product. Any balance remaining shall be remitted to the comptroller.
     (d) The officers of the court shall receive the same fees provided by law for other civil actions. The sheriff who executes the sale shall issue a bill of sale or certificate to the purchaser of the oil or petroleum product, and the commission, on presentation of that certificate of clearance, shall issue a tender, if a tender is required, permitting the purchaser of the oil or petroleum product to move the oil or petroleum product into commerce.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 166, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.