Sec. 1. (a) The department may remove, prevent, or terminate an encroachment onto a state
highway, right-of-way, or other department property, including drainage onto the highway,
right-of-way, or other property.
(b) If the department determines that an encroachment exists, the department shall
give notice by certified mail to the owner and the occupant of the property from which
the encroachment has occurred and by posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous
place on the property. The notice must specify the encroachment and the period of time within which the
encroachment must be removed, terminated, or prevented. The period of time specified in the notice may not be less than thirty (30) days.
(c) If the encroachment has not been removed, terminated, or prevented within the
period of time specified in the notice under subsection (b), the department may enter
the property from which the encroachment has occurred and take whatever action the
department considers necessary to remove, terminate, or prevent the encroachment.
(d) The cost of the department's removal, termination, or prevention of an encroachment
under subsection (c) shall be paid by the owner of the property from which the encroachment
has occurred. The department shall bill the owner for the cost. If the bill remains unpaid for a period of thirty (30) days, the department shall
file the bill with the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the property
is located. The clerk shall immediately enter the bill on the judgment docket against the owner
of the property, and the bill is a lien against the property. The lien may be foreclosed in the same manner as other judgment liens, without relief
from valuation or appraisement laws or right of redemption.
(e) Where an awning, canopy, marquee, advertising sign, or similar encroachment extending
over a highway right-of-way was in place on August 12, 1963, and is supported entirely
from outside the highway right-of-way, the encroachment may remain if the department
determines that the encroachment will not impair the highway or interfere with the
free and safe flow of traffic on the highway.
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