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PATENTS TO DISABLED SOLDIER ENTRYMEN

An act to amend the act of March 1, 1921 (Forty-first Statutes, page 1202), entitled "An

act to authorize certain homestead settlers or entrymen who entered the military or naval service of the United States during the war with Germany to make final proof of their entries." (Act April 7, 1922, ch. 125, 42 Stat. 492)

[Homestead and desert-land entrymen, incapacitated in World War, may make final proof and receive patent without further reclamation.] That the act approved March 1, 1921 (Forty-first Statutes, page 1202), be amended to read as follows: “That any bona fide settler, applicant, or entryman under the homestead laws of the United States, or any desert-land entryman whose entry is subject to the provisions of the act of June 17, 1902 (Thirty-second Statutes, page 388), who, after settlement, application, or entry, and prior to November 11, 1918, enlisted or was actually engaged in the United States Army, Navy, or Marine Corps during the war with Germany, who has been honorably discharged and because of physical incapacities due to the service is unable to return to the land, may make final proof, without further residence, improvement, cultivation, or reclamation, at such time and place as may be authorized by the Secretary of the Interior, and receive patent to the land by him so entered or settled upon, subject to the provisions of the act or acts under which such settlement or entry was made: Provided, That no such patent shall issue prior to the conformation of the entry to a single farm unit, as required by the act of August 13, 1914 (Thirtyeighth Statutes, page 686): Ånd provided further, That this act shall not be construed to exempt or relieve such applicant or entryman from payment of any lawful fees, commissions, purchase moneys, water charges, or other sums due to the United States, or its successors in control of the reclamation project, in connection with such lands.” (42 Stat. 492.)

Textual note.—The substance of this act is codified as section 238, title 43, United States Code.

NOTES

Regulations.-See General Land Office instructions of May 29, 1922, 49 L. D. 135. Cross reference.-See notes under act of March 1, 1921 (41 Stat. 1202).

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IRRIGATION DISTRICTS AND FARM LOANS ON FEDERAL

IRRIGATION PROJECTS

An act to provide for the application of the reclamation law to irrigation districts.

May 15, 1922, ch. 190, 42 Stat, 541)

(Act

[Application of reclamation law to irrigation districts—Individual water-right applications dispensed with. ]—That in carrying out the purposes of the act of June 17, 1902 (Thirty-second Statutes, page 388), and acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, and known as and called the reclamation law, the Secretary of the Interior may enter into contract with any legally organized irrigation district whereby such irrigation district shall agree to pay the moneys required to be paid to the United States, and in such event water-right applications on the part of landowners and entrymen, in the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior, may be dispensed with. In the event of such contract being made with an irrigation district, the Secretary of the Interior, in his discretion, may contract that the payments, both for the construction of irrigation works and for operation and maintenance, on the part of the district shall be made upon such dates as will best conform to the district and taxation laws of the respective States under which such irrigation districts shall be formed; and if he deem it advisable, he may contract for such penalties or interest charges in case of delinquency in payments as he may deem proper and consistent with such State laws, notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the reclamation extension act approved August 13, 1914 (Thirty-eighth Statutes, page 686). The Secretary of the Interior may accept a partial payment of the amount due from any district to the United States, providing such acceptance shall not constitute a waiver of the balance remaining due nor the interest or penalties, if any, accruing upon said balance : Provided, That no contract with an irrigation district under this act shall be binding on the United States until the proceedings on the part of the district for the authorization of the execution of the contract with the United States shall have been confirmed by decree of a court of competent jurisdiction, or pending appellate action if ground for appeal be laid. (42

Stat. 541.)

Textual note.The above section is codified as section 511, title 43, United States Code, with the following changes : The first word “That" is omitted ; the words “the act of June 17, 1902 (Thirty-second Statutes, page 388), and acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, and known as and called,” are omitted; the words sections 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8 of the reclamation extension act approved August 13, 1914 (Thirty-eighth Statutes, page 686)," are changed to read “sections 471, 475, 478, 492, and 493 of this chapter"; and the words in the proviso reading "under this act" are changed to read "under this and the two following sections.

NOTES

Payments of water u'sers charges. This act does not modify the act of February 21, 1911 (36 Stat. 925), and existing contracts entered into under the act of February 21, 1911, may stand as made or be modified under the same authority 88508-37-18

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which authorized their execution. Likewise, new contracts may be made there. under without resort to the court proceedings specified for contracts under the act of May 15, 1922. (Departmental opinion, September 29, 1923, 50 L. D. 142.)

Previous contracts not subject to court confirmation.—This act has no retroactive effect upon contracts theretofore made under proper authority, and such contracts are not, therefore, dependent for their validity upon the court confirmation specified in the proviso. (Idem.)

Dates for payment of charges.—The Secretary of the Interior, in whom the extension act of August 13, 1914 (38 Stat. 656), imposed the authority to fix the date for payment of operation and maintenance charges in connection with irrigation projects as of the date fixed for each project, may for sufficient reason change the due date for future payments and modify the contract without violation of either the letter or the spirit of the act of May 15, 1922, and without invoking the procedure therein provided for confirmation of contracts under the latter act. (Idem.)

The act of August 13, 1914, provided for the payment of irrigation construction charges upon specified date, the only authority for change of which is contained in the act of May 15, 1922, and where the latter act is invoked to change the date of payment under a prior contract, the procedure described therein must be followed in order to give validity to the amended contract. (Idem.)

For opinion of the solicitor for the Interior Department regarding authority of Secretary to extend dates of payment of water charges, see C. L. 1299. April 25, 1924. Decision M-11120, re lower Yellowstone project, holds that certain extensions of water charges can be made under contract with an irrigation district. Decision M-12181, re Strawberry Valley project, holds that similar extensions can not be made under contract with a water users' association.

Penalties on account of delinquent water charges.—Under contracts with irrigation districts under act of May 15, 1922 (42 Stat. 541), and also under the Warren Act of February 21, 1911 (36 Stat. 925), penalties on account of all classes of charges shall be credited to the reclamation fund generally and not to the project in connection with which they arise. (C. L. 1186, January 3, 1923. This circular amends C. L. 960 (standard clauses for contracts with irrigation districts), by adding a sentence to Clause (H) thereof.)

Areas in excess of 160 acres.-- Irrigable lands in excess of 160 acres, in the sole ownership of a corporation, and lying within an irrigation district contract. ing with the United States to pay the cost of a reclamation project apportionable to the part of the project within the district and which irrigable lands are shown by the general trend of the evidence to be benefited by an irrigation project so that their value becomes enhanced thereby, are properly included within the irrigation district and assessable accordingly, as the basis of special improvement taxation is property benefit independently of ownership conditions or of the inability under the Federal laws of the owner to receive water for more than 160 acres. (Shoshone Irrigation District v. Lincoln Land Co., Fed. Dist. Ct. of Wyoming, memorandum decision of Aug. 8, 1930, Shoshone project. See New Recl. Era, October, 1930, p. 196.)

See also 51 Fed. (20) 128.

Assessments.-A landowner consenting to dispose of excess holdings, could not, after the construction of works making water available for irrigation, escape assessment on the ground that excess lands retained were not benefited. (Lincoln Land Co. v. Goshen Irr. Dist. (Wyo. 1930), 293 Pac. 373.)

Proxy voting at election proceedings.—By decision M-26138, of the solicitor dated March 21, 1931, and approved by the department on the same date, it was held that section 963 of Wyoming Compiled Statutes, 1920, as amended by section 2 of Wyoming Session Laws of 1925, permits and requires the election by an irrigation district to authorize a contract with the United States to permit voting by proxy, each voter to be entitled to one vote for each acre of land owned. (53 I. D. 334.)

Acceptance of proofs and payments on reclamation entries in projects within irrigation districts.-On reclamation projects operated by irrigation districts or water users' associations not delinquent in payments to the Government, the superintendent of said district or association is authorized to accept certifications as to cultivation, reclamation, and payments as to lands within the boundaries of IRRIGATION DISTRICTS AND FARM LOANS

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the district or association. This provision is not applicable to the Salt River Valley Water Users Association. (General Land Office Instructions, June 12, 1930, 53 I. D. 128.)

Recording of deeds.-Chapter 137 of the 1931 Session Laws of New Mexico authorized the recording of deeds and other instruments in favor of irrigation districts at a minimum filing fee of 25 cents. In Elephant Butte Irrigation District v. Nevarez it was held by the district court for Dona Ana County, N. Mex., that deeds to the United States for the benefit of an irrigation district under contract to pay the cost of a Federal reclamation project might be recorded upon the payment of this minimum fee. (Oct. 26, 1931.)

Sec. 2. [Patents and water-right certificates for lands in irrigation districts—Liens—Release.]—That patents and water-right certificates which shall hereafter be issued under the terms of the act entitled “An act providing for patents on reclamation entries, and for other purposes", approved August 9, 1912 (Thirty-seventh Statutes at Large, page 265), for lands lying within any irrigation district with which the United States shall have contracted, by which the irrigation district agrees to make the payment of all charges for the building of irrigation works and for operation and maintenance, shall not reserve to the United States a lien for the payment of such charges; and where such a lien shall have been reserved in any patent or water-right certificate issued under the said act of Congress, the Secretary of the Interior is hereby empowered to release such lien in such manner and form as may be deemed effective; and the Secretary of the Interior is further empowered to release liens in favor of the United States contained in water-right applications and to assent to the release of liens to secure reimbursement of moneys due to the United States pursuant to water-right applications running in favor of the water users' association and contained in stock subscription contracts to such associations, when the lands covered by such liens shall be subject to assessment and levy for the collection of all moneys due and to become due to the United States by irrigation districts formed pursuant to State law and with which the United States shall have entered into contract therefor: Provided, That no such lien so reserved to the United States in any patent or water-right certificate shall be released until the owner of the land covered by the lien shall consent in writing to the assessment, levy, and collection by such irrigation district of taxes against said land for the payment to the United States of the contract obligation: Provided further, That before any lien is released under this act the Secretary of the Interior shall file a written report finding that the contracting irrigation district is legally organized under the laws of the State in which its lands are located, with full power to enter into the contract and to collect by assessment and levy against the lands of the district the amount of the contract obligation. (42 Stat. 542.) Textual note.-The substance of this section is codified as section 512, title 43, United States Code.

NOTES Regulations. For departmental instructions regarding release of liens reserved by the act of August 9, 1912 (37 Stat. 265), see C. L. 1226, June 6, 1923, or 49 L. D. 604.

An irrigation district may bid in lands within reclamation entries sold for charges assessed by the district under the authority conferred upon it by the acts of August 11, 1916, and May 15, 1922, without limit as to acreage and 268

IRRIGATION DISTRICTS AND FARM LOANS

assign them to persons qualified to acquire them under the act of June 23, 1910, as amended, but patents cannot be issued to the district pursuant to such sales. (Glen L. Kimmel and Goshen Irrigation Districts, 53 I, D. 658.)

Sec. [Contracts with irrigation districts subject to act of August 11, 1916.]—That upon the execution of any contract between the United States and any irrigation district pursuant to this act the public lands included within such irrigation district, when subject to entry, and entered lands within such irrigation district, for which no final certificates shall have been issued and which may be designated by the Secretary of the Interior in said contract, shall be subject to all the provisions of the act entitled "An act to promote the reclamation of arid lands,” approved August 11, 1916: Provided, That no map or plan as required by section 3 of the said act need be filed by the irrigation district for approval by the Secretary of the Interior.

That the term “first mortgage” as used in section 12 of the Federal Farm Loan Act, approved July 17, 1916, shall be construed to include mortgages on farm lands under United States reclamation projects, notwithstanding there may be against such lands a reserved or created lien in favor of the United States for construction or other charges as provided in the act of June 17, 1902, and acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, known as the reclamation law: Provided, That such lands are otherwise eligible for loans under the Federal Farm Loan Act: And provided further, That the amount and date of maturity of such liens shall be given due consideration in fixing the value of such lands for loan purposes. (42 Stat. 542.)

Textual note. The substance of the first paragraph of this section is codified as section 513, title 43, United States Code. The substance of the second paragraph is codified as section 773, title 12, United States Code.

NOTES

Cross reference.--This section construed as amending act of August 11, 1916 (39 Stat. 506) (49 L. D. 499).

Regulations.-For departmental instructions see 49 L. D. 498. See also 52 L. D. 155.

See Lincoln Land Co. v. Goshen Irrigation District, 293 Pac. 373.

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