Colorado Revised Statutes Title 24 Government State § 24-655-104 Enforcement--remedies

(1)(a) If an applicant certifies to the local government that such applicant has complied with the notice requirements of section 24-65.5-103 and that no mineral estate owner has entered an appearance or filed an objection as provided in this article to the applicant and to the local government, after the final approval of the application for development, no development or related activities contemplated by such application, no permit or other approval by such local government, and no permit or other approval by any other local government or agency that approves or permits such development or related activities or any aspect thereof shall, except as provided in subparagraphs (I) and (II) of this paragraph (a), be rescinded, curtailed, abrogated, or otherwise restricted in connection with any purported noncompliance with the notice requirements of section 24-65.5-103 that may be alleged by any party.  If the applicant complies with the publication and posting notice requirements of the local government reviewing its application for development, and if an applicant certifies that it has provided the required notice as provided in section 24-65.5-103 in a timely manner, mineral estate owners shall be deemed to have constructively received notice of the application for development.  In such event, if the applicant otherwise complies with this article, the applicant shall not have any liability to a mineral estate owner for any legal or equitable remedy or relief arising from, in connection with, or otherwise relating to the application for development, any development activities commenced on the surface of the real property, any inability or impediment or other hindrance to drilling operations or other development of the mineral estate or any portion thereof, or any actual failure to receive any notice required by section 24-65.5-103 or 31-23-215, C.R.S ., unless:

(I) The applicant knowingly and willfully provides a false certification with respect to the provision of notice, the existence of a surface use agreement, the designation of oil and gas operations areas, or the establishment of an escrow account as required by this article, in which case any local government approval of the application for development is null and void and all aggrieved parties shall have all legal and equitable remedies available to them;

(II) The certification by the applicant with respect to the provision of notice is incorrect due to the negligence of the applicant or its agent in identifying the mineral estate owners entitled to actual notice under this article, in which case a mineral owner entitled to actual notice that was not sent such notice in the manner required by section 24-65.5-103 is entitled to file an objection to the application for development at any time prior to the final approval of the application for development and to seek compensatory damages only thereafter, in accordance with paragraph (b) of this subsection (1);  or

(III) A mineral estate owner, who received constructive notice only and did not enter an appearance or file an objection with the applicant and the local government within thirty days after the initial public hearing on the application for development, files suit for compensatory damages within one year after the posting of the property with a sign indicating that the application for development has received final approval by the local government.

(b) With respect to actions brought under subparagraph (II) or (III) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1), a mineral estate owner may not recover special, punitive, or other extraordinary damages and is not entitled to equitable remedy or relief.  The prevailing party in such action is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees.

(2) A mineral estate owner entitled to notice pursuant to section 24-65.5-103 has standing to enforce the requirements of that section, and, except as provided in this subsection (2) with respect to qualifying surface developments, has standing to make claims as may be available at law or equity for noncompliance.  With respect to qualifying surface developments:

(a) A mineral estate owner has standing to move for the vacation of the final plat covering an area in which the mineral estate owner owns a mineral estate after depletion of the incremental drilling funds in an escrow account posted under section 24-65.5-103.7 in connection with the recording of such plat only to the extent of areas encompassed within commission-approved drilling windows, and upon the granting of such vacation by the local government has the right to conduct oil and gas drilling and production operations within such commission-approved drilling windows, if such mineral estate owner establishes to the satisfaction of the local government that there is no reasonable likelihood that the surface development approved in such plat will occur and if all other local government requirements for vacating the plat are met.

(b) If a mineral estate owner believes that the oil and gas operations area designated by the applicant for land in which such mineral estate owner owns a mineral estate does not satisfy the criteria specified in section 24-65.5-103.5 , such person may register an objection with the local government within thirty days after the public hearing at which the oil and gas operations area is designated, and may appeal the designation to the district court having jurisdiction of the land covered by such application within thirty days after the decision of the local government with respect to such objection.


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