HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES
40-2319. Encroachments — Removal — Notice — Penalty for failure to remove — Removal by county or highway district — Abatement. (1) If any highway or public right-of-way under the jurisdiction of a county or highway district is encroached upon by gates, fences, buildings, or otherwise, the appropriate county or highway district may require the encroachment to be removed.
(2) If the county or highway district has actual notice of an encroachment that is of a nature as to effectually obstruct and prevent the use of an open highway for vehicles or is unsafe for pedestrian or motorist use of an open highway, the county or highway district shall immediately cause the encroachment to be removed without notice.
(3) If the county or highway district elects to remove an encroachment as provided for in subsection (1) of this section, notice shall be given to the occupant or owner of the land, or person causing or owning the encroachment, or left at his place of residence if he resides in the highway jurisdiction. If not, it shall be posted on the encroachment, specifying the place and extent of the encroachment, and requiring him to remove the encroachment within ten (10) days.
(a) If the encroachment is not removed, or commenced to be removed, prior to the expiration of ten (10) days from the service or posting the notice, the person who caused, owns or controls the encroachment shall forfeit up to one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for each day the encroachment continues unremoved;
(b) If the owner, occupant, or person controlling the encroachment, refuses either to remove it or to permit its removal, the county or highway district shall commence in the proper court an action to abate the encroachment. If the county or highway district recovers judgment, it may, in addition to having the encroachment abated, recover up to one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for every day the encroachment remained after notice, as well as costs of the legal action and removal; or
(c) If the owner, occupant or person controlling the encroachment fails to respond to the notice within five (5) days after the notice is complete, the county or highway district may remove it at the expense of the owner, occupant, or person controlling the encroachment, and the county or highway district may recover costs and expenses, as well as the sum of up to one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for each day the encroachment remained after notice was complete.
(4) The duties referenced in the provisions of this section, whether statutory or common law, require reasonable care only and shall not be construed to impose strict liability or to otherwise enlarge the liability of the county or highway district. The county or highway district, while responsible for their own acts or omissions, shall not be liable for any injury or damage caused by or arising from the encroachment or the failure to remove or abate the encroachment as provided for in subsection (1) of this section. The provision of this section shall not be construed to impair any defense that the county or highway district may assert in a civil action.
(5) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit, abrogate or supersede the provisions of this title governing the power, authority or jurisdiction of a county or highway district, including the authority to regulate the use of highways or public rights-of-way for pedestrian and motorist safety.
[40-2319, added 1985, ch. 253, sec. 2, p. 698; am. 2000, ch. 252, sec. 2, p. 717; am. 2011, ch. 282, sec. 1, p. 765; am. 2013, ch. 264, sec. 1, p. 649.]