2017 ORS 545.275¹
Lien on crops for water supplied for irrigation
  • enforcement
  • attorney fees

(1) Any person or irrigation district that supplies water to any person or irrigation district for irrigation of crops shall, upon complying with subsection (2) of this section, have a lien upon all crops raised by the use of such water for the reasonable value of the water supplied as of the date when the water was first supplied for the crops. The lien shall be a continuing one and shall bind the crops after, as well as before, they have been gathered. The lien shall be preferred to all other liens or encumbrances upon the crops, except mortgages given to the state for the purchase of seed wheat.

(2) The person or irrigation district so supplying water, within 40 days after the water has been furnished, or within 40 days after the close of the irrigation season, shall file with the county clerk of the county in which the lands, or some part of the lands, are situated and where the water has been furnished, a claim containing a true statement of the account due for the water after deducting all just credits and offsets. The claim shall also contain the date when the water was first supplied, the name of the owner of the crops or reputed owner, if known, the name of the person to whom the water was furnished and a description of the lands upon which the crops were grown sufficient for identification. The claim shall be verified by oath of some person having knowledge of the facts and shall be filed with and recorded by the county clerk in the book kept for the purpose of recording liens claimed under ORS 87.035 (Perfecting lien). The record shall be indexed as deeds and other conveyances are required by law to be indexed, and the clerk shall receive the same fees as required by law for recording deeds and other instruments.

(3) The lien may be enforced by a suit in equity. The remedy provided by this section does not abrogate any other remedy provided by law for the collection of dues, charges or assessment for water furnished. The court may award reasonable attorney fees to a person or irrigation district if the person or district prevails in an action to foreclose a lien under this section. The court may award reasonable attorney fees to a defendant who prevails in an action to foreclose a lien under this section if the court determines that the plaintiff had no objectively reasonable basis for asserting the claim or no reasonable basis for appealing an adverse decision of the trial court.

(4) If all or part of the crop is sold prior to the filing of the lien, or possession delivered to an agent, broker, cooperative agency or other person to be sold or otherwise disposed of, and its identity lost or destroyed or if the crop is commingled with like crops so that it cannot be segregated, and if the purchaser, agent, broker, cooperative agency or other person was notified of the filing of the lien by being furnished with a certified copy of the claim of lien, then the lien attaches to the proceeds of sale remaining in the possession of the purchaser, agent, broker, cooperative agency or other person at the time of the notice. The lien shall be as effective against the proceeds as against the crop itself. [Formerly 545.104]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 545—Irrigation Districts IRRIGATION DIST, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors545.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.