HB 209
Modifies the laws regarding nuisances and junkyards
LR Number:
Last Action:
9/14/2011 - No motion made to override Governor's veto
Journal Page:
SCS HB 209
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2011
House Handler:

Current Bill Summary

SS/SCS/HB 209 - This act modifies the laws regarding nuisances.

This act adds Andrew County, Buchanan County, Cass County, Dade County, Jasper County, Livingston County, and Newton County to the list of counties that may enact nuisance abatement ordinances regarding the condition of real property. Counties enacting nuisance abatement ordinances under this act are not authorized to enact ordinances providing for the abatement of any condition related to agricultural structures or agricultural operations or governing any railroad company.

Under the current law, no person or corporation may maintain a junkyard within 200 feet of a state or county road unless the junkyard is screened by a fence. A failure to screen such a junkyard from the motoring public is a misdemeanor. This section changes the penalties for junkyard screening violation by making the first violation a Class C misdemeanor and a 2nd or subsequent violation a Class A misdemeanor. In addition to the penalties, the violators shall be ordered to remove the junk or build a fence to screen the junk from the public.

This act specifies what types of damages may be awarded in a action for private nuisance where the alleged nuisance emanates from property primarily used for crop or animal production purposes. If the nuisance is a permanent nuisance, compensatory damages shall be measured by the reduction in the fair market value of the property. If the nuisance is a temporary nuisance, damages are measured by the decrease in the fair rental value of the property. The person who files the lawsuit may also recover damages for their medical condition, if there is objective and documented medical evidence that the medical condition was caused by the nuisance.

If a person or their successor brings any subsequent claim against another person or their successor for temporary nuisance, and the claims are related to a similar activity or use of the property, and that activity or use of property is deemed a nuisance, the activity or use of property shall be considered a permanent nuisance and the person and their successor shall be limited to the remedies available for permanent nuisance.

This act also requires that a nuisance be considered not capable of abatement, if the nuisance emanates from property used for crop or animal production purposes, if a defendant demonstrates a good faith effort to abate the nuisance, including substantial compliance with a court order.

No person has standing to bring an action for private nuisance unless they have an ownership interest in the property alleged to be affected by the nuisance.

A copy of the final judgment in any action alleging a private nuisance shall be filed with the recorder of deeds in the county in which the final judgment was issued and shall operate as notice to a purchaser of the property that the property was related to a previous claim.

The act does not prohibit the recovery of damages for crop destruction, crop damage, contamination of the seed supply, or a diminution of crop value resulting from contamination of the seed or grain supply, herbicide drift, or other diminution of crop value.

This act is similar to the perfected version of SB 187(2011), SB 25 (2011), and HB 1303 (2010).