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Statutes Text

Article - Real Property




§12–111.

    (a)    Civil engineers, land surveyors, real estate appraisers, and their assistants acting on behalf of the State or of any of its instrumentalities or any body politic or corporate having the power of eminent domain after every real and bona fide effort to notify the owner or occupant in writing with respect to the proposed entry may:

        (1)    Enter on any private land to make surveys, run lines or levels, or obtain information relating to the acquisition or future public use of the property or for any governmental report, undertaking, or improvement;

        (2)    Set stakes, markers, monuments, or other suitable landmarks or reference points where necessary; and

        (3)    Enter on any private land and perform any function necessary to appraise the property.

    (b)    If any civil engineer, surveyor, real estate appraiser, or any of their assistants is refused permission to enter or remain on any private land for the purposes set out in subsection (a) of this section, the person, the State, its instrumentality, or the body politic or corporate on whose behalf the person is acting may apply to a law court of the county where the property, or any part of it, is located for an order directing that the person be permitted to enter on and remain on the land to the extent necessary to carry out the purposes authorized by this section.

    (c)    If a civil engineer, surveyor, real estate appraiser, or any of their assistants enters on any private land under the authority of this section or any court order passed pursuant to it, and damages or destroys any land or personal property on it, the owner of the property has a cause of action for damages against the civil engineer, surveyor, real estate appraiser, or assistant and against the State, its instrumentality, or the body politic or corporate on whose behalf the person inflicting the damage was acting.

    (d)    Any landowner or other person who willfully obliterates, damages, or removes any stake, marker, monument, or other landmark set by any civil engineer, surveyor, or real estate appraiser or any of their assistants acting pursuant to this section, except if the stake, marker, monument, or other landmark interferes with the proper use of the property, is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be fined not more than $500.

    (e)    Any person who has knowledge of an order issued pursuant to subsection (b) and who obstructs any civil engineer, surveyor, real estate appraiser, or any of their assistants acting under the authority of the order may be punished as for contempt of court.

    (f)    In Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County, or Baltimore City, an agent or employee, or one or more assistants of the jurisdiction, after real and bona fide effort to notify the occupant or the owner, if the land is unoccupied or if the occupant is not the owner, may enter on any private land to make test borings and soil tests and obtain information related to such tests for the purpose of determining the possibility of public use of the property. If an agent, employee, or assistant is refused permission to enter or remain on any private land for the purposes set out in this subsection, Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County, or Baltimore City may apply to a law court of the jurisdiction where the property or any part of it is located for an order directing that its agent, employee, or assistant be permitted to enter and remain on the land to the extent necessary to carry out the purposes authorized by this subsection. The court may require that the applying jurisdiction post a bond in an amount sufficient to reimburse any person for damages reasonably estimated to be caused by test borings, soil tests, and related activities. If any person enters on any private land under the authority of this section or of any court order passed pursuant to it and damages or destroys any land or personal property on it, the owner of the property has a cause of action for damages against the jurisdiction that authorized the entrance. Any person who knows of an order issued under this subsection and who obstructs any agent, employee, or assistant acting under the authority of the order may be punished for contempt of court.

    (g)    The State Highway Administration, the Maryland Transit Administration, and the agents, employees, and consultants of the State Highway Administration and the Maryland Transit Administration may enter upon private property to conduct environmental and engineering studies, including soil boring and excavation, necessary to determine the suitability of the property for use by the administration entering the property. Entry onto private property for these purposes shall not be undertaken without prior consent of the property owner. If, after real and bona fide effort, the consent of the property owner cannot be secured, the administration seeking entry may apply to a law or equity court where the property or any part of it is located for an order directing that entry be permitted. “Bona fide effort” shall include either 30 days advance notice in writing by certified mail return receipt requested to the last known address of the property owner or posting notice on the property not less than 30 days in advance, and such other requirements as the court may deem appropriate. The administration entering the property, when removing, displacing, boring, or excavating soil under the provisions of this section, shall replace the topsoil in a manner which will approach the level of compaction and contour as when removed. An administration entering private property under the authority of this subsection shall reimburse the landowner or lessee who is farming the property for agricultural products destroyed or damaged by the administration’s agents, employees, or consultants and shall be responsible for any other damages that may be incurred as a result of such entry on private property.



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