AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT AGRICULTURAL AND FORESTRY OPERATIONS ARE NOT NUISANCES UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE AWARD OF COSTS AND ATTORNEYS' FEES. Enacted July 18, 2013. Effective July 18, 2013.
Summary date: Jul 23 2013 - View summary
Summary date: Jul 16 2013 - View summary
Conference report makes the following changes to the 4th edition.
Amends the long title.
Amends GS 106-701, concerning agricultural and forestry operations, to amend new subsection (f) to provide that in a nuisance action against an agricultural or forestry operation, the court must award costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees, to (1) the agricultural or forestry operation when the court finds that the operation was not a nuisance and the nuisance action was frivolous or malicious or (2) the plaintiff when the court finds the agricultural or forestry operation was a nuisance and the operation asserted an affirmative defense in the nuisance action that was frivolous and malicious (was, prevailing defendant recovers aggregate amount of costs and expenses reasonably incurred, including attorneys' fees).
Amends GS 7A-38.3(h), concerning mediation of farm nuisance disputes, providing that any applicable statutes of limitations relating to a farm nuisance dispute will be tolled for a specified period of time upon the filing of a request for mediation under GS 7A-38.3 (previously, provided that time periods relating to the filing of a claim or the taking of other action with respect to a farm nuisance dispute, including applicable statutes of limitations, would be tolled after filing). Further amends section to provide that the filing of a request for prelitigation mediation under GS 7A-38.3(d) does not constitute the commencement of or the bringing of an action involving a farm nuisance dispute.
Provides that this act is effective when it becomes law and applies to actions commenced or brought on or after that date (was, October 1, 2013).
Summary date: Jun 11 2013 - View summary
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.
Makes organizational changes to GS 106-701, incorporating subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (a) into that subsection. Amends subsection (a1) to specify that the provisions of subsection (a), as amended in this act, do not apply when a plaintiff demonstrates that the agricultural or forestry operation has undergone a fundamental change. Amends GS 106-701(a1)(2) to provide that an interruption of farming for a period of no more than three years also does not constitute a fundamental change (was, provided that a fundamental change did not include a nonpermanent cessation or interruption of farming).
Reinstatessubsection (f) to GS 106-701 to provide for the award of costs and attorneys' fees to a prevailing defendant in a civil action in which an agricultural or forestry operation is alleged to be a nuisance (this subsection was in the 1st and 2nd edition of this bill and deleted in the 3rd edition).
Amends the catch line of GS 106-701 to reflect changes in the content of the section. Amends the long title of this act to restore previously deleted language regarding a prevailing defendant's entitlement to attorneys' fees.
Summary date: May 15 2013 - View summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition:
Changes the bill title to conform to changes in the bill by deleting reference to provision relating to the award of costs and attorneys' fees to the prevailing defendant.
Amends GS 106-701(a)(1) to clarify that the change in condition in or about a locality means a locality that is outside the agricultural or forestry operation.
Deletes GS 106-701(f) (which provided for recovery of costs and attorneys' fees for prevailing defendants).
Changes the effective date of the act from July 1, 2013, to October 1, 2013.
Summary date: May 7 2013 - View summary
House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Deletes proposed GS 106-701(a1). Instead, amends GS 106-701 to provide that no agricultural or forestry operation or any of its appurtenances is or will become a nuisance when all of the following are met: (1) there has been a changed condition in or about the locality of the operation, (2) the operation has been in operation of more than one year, (3) the operation was not a nuisance at the time the operation began, and (4) there have been no fundamental changes to the operation. Provides that this does not apply whenever a nuisance results from the negligent or improper operation of any agricultural or forestry operation or its appurtenances. Sets out five activities that are not considered exclusions from fundamental changes to the operation. Retains changes to (b1), proposed (f), and the effective date from the previous edition. Makes a conforming change to the act's title.
Summary date: Apr 9 2013 - View summary
Identical to S 509, filed 3/27/13.
Amends GS 106-701 to provide that using methods or practices commonly or reasonably associated with agricultural or forestry production (further defined in the act) or that are in compliance with any state or federally issued permit creates a rebuttable presumption that an agricultural or forestry operation is not a nuisance. Deletes the provision excluding sawmill operations from the activities included in a forestry operation. Provides that in a civil action in which an agricultural or forestry operation is alleged to be a nuisance, the prevailing defendant recovers the costs and expenses determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred in the defense of the action, including attorneys' fees.
Applies to causes of action arising on or after July 1, 2013.