81-4-326. Retention and sale of horses for damages and care -- procedure. (1) The owner or occupant of the land upon which wrongful entry is made under 81-4-325 may take into the owner's or occupant's possession the horse or horses and shall reasonably care for the horse or horses while in possession and may retain possession of the horse or horses and has a lien and claim on the horse or horses as security for payment of the damages and reasonable charges for the care of the horse or horses while in the owner's or occupant's possession. The person taking up the horse or horses shall within 48 hours after taking possession notify the owner, owners, or persons in charge of the horse or horses by a notice in writing, describing the horse or horses taken up, including marks and brands, if any, the amount of damages claimed, the charge per head per day for caring for and feeding the horse or horses, and, either by legal subdivisions or other general description, the location of the premises upon which the horse or horses are held and requiring that person within 48 hours after receiving the notice to take the horse or horses away after making full payment for all damages and costs of the horse or horses. The notice must be given by personal service on the owner, owners, or person in charge of the horse or horses or by leaving the notice at that person's usual place of residence with some member of that person's family over 14 years of age or by sending the notice by prepaid certified mail addressed to that person's last-known place of residence. Service by certified mail is considered complete upon the deposit of the notice in the post office.
(2) Upon demand, the owner or occupant of the land shall release and deliver possession of the horse or horses to the owner or person entitled upon payment of damages and charges, but payment of damages and charges may not act as a bar to the prosecution of the person, owner, or person in control of the horse or horses as provided in subsection (1). If the owner or claimant of the horse or horses is not known to the person taking up the horse or horses or the owner or claimant refuses to pay the amount of damages and charges, the person taking up the horse or horses shall, within 72 hours from the time the horse or horses were taken up, deliver to the sheriff or a constable of the county in which the horse or horses were taken up a statement containing the information required to be given in the notice. In addition, the person shall mail by prepaid certified mail a copy of the statement addressed to the nearest state livestock inspector. Upon receipt of the statement, the sheriff or constable shall proceed to advertise and sell at public auction the horse or horses taken up.
History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 119, L. 1931; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 57, L. 1933; re-en. Sec. 3389.5, R.C.M. 1935; R.C.M. 1947, 46-1604(1), (2); amd. Sec. 2654, Ch. 56, L. 2009.