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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Payment of incumbrances on public lands; adverse claims; costs
Public Lands (PBL) CHAPTER 46, ARTICLE 2
§ 17. Payment of incumbrances on public lands; adverse claims; costs.
The commissioner of general services, whenever he deems it for the best
interest of the state may cause to be paid off and canceled any charges,
assessments, or incumbrances, other than the lien of a tax under article
ten of the tax law, existing on any lands belonging to the state or in
which the state has an interest, or may acquire any outstanding
undivided interest in such lands adverse to the title of the state, to
perfect in the state a title to any such lands, or to protect the
state's interest therein. Payments for any such purpose shall be made
from the state treasury, on the certificate of the commissioner and the
audit and warrant of the comptroller, out of moneys available therefor
by appropriation. Where the claim of title of the state to any land
within the Adirondack or Catskill parks or adjacent thereto is based on
a tax sale, the conservation department, with the consent of the
commissioner and subject to the approval of the governor and the
attorney-general, may, pursuant to the provisions of chapter five
hundred and sixty-nine of the laws of nineteen hundred and sixteen and
acts supplemental thereto and amendatory thereof, and chapter sixteen of
the laws of nineteen hundred twenty-six, whenever there is an adverse
claim or claims of title to such lands, acquire by purchase a deed or
conveyance of such lands from the person or persons so claiming
adversely on such terms and conditions as such state officials may deem
for the best interests of the state and to avoid litigation. In an
action for partition of or to foreclose a mortgage on such lands wherein
the commissioner is so empowered, the plaintiffs shall not be entitled
to costs if the people of the state are made a party defendant, unless
the commissioner after a full presentation of the facts to him shall
have determined before such action is brought against the state that the
interests of the state did not warrant his making an order for the
payment or cancellation of such mortgage, lien or incumbrance, or any
amount due thereon, or for the acquisition of any outstanding undivided
interest adverse to the state, or pursuant to this section, or unless
the commissioner shall have failed to make such determination within
three months after such full presentation of facts shall have been made
to him by a verified statement in writing, and filed with the
commissioner at his office in the city of Albany, nor unless a certified
copy of the designated commissioners' report of partition, and of the
referee's or sheriff's report of sale, in case of a sale, filed in the
action shall have been duly served upon the attorney-general; and in no
such case wherein the people are made a party defendant because of an
interest other than the lien of a tax under article ten of the tax law,
shall any additional allowance under sections fourteen hundred and
seventy-four or fourteen hundred and seventy-five of the civil practice
act be made to the plaintiff.