N.Y. Public Lands Law Section 17
Payment of incumbrances on public lands

  • adverse claims
  • costs

The commissioner of general services, whenever he deems it for the best interest of the state may cause to be paid off and canceled any charges, assessments, or incumbrances, other than the lien of a tax under article ten of the tax law, existing on any lands belonging to the state or in which the state has an interest, or may acquire any outstanding undivided interest in such lands adverse to the title of the state, to perfect in the state a title to any such lands, or to protect the state’s interest therein. Payments for any such purpose shall be made from the state treasury, on the certificate of the commissioner and the audit and warrant of the comptroller, out of moneys available therefor by appropriation. Where the claim of title of the state to any land within the Adirondack or Catskill parks or adjacent thereto is based on a tax sale, the conservation department, with the consent of the commissioner and subject to the approval of the governor and the attorney-general, may, pursuant to the provisions of chapter five hundred and sixty-nine of the laws of nineteen hundred and sixteen and acts supplemental thereto and amendatory thereof, and chapter sixteen of the laws of nineteen hundred twenty-six, whenever there is an adverse claim or claims of title to such lands, acquire by purchase a deed or conveyance of such lands from the person or persons so claiming adversely on such terms and conditions as such state officials may deem for the best interests of the state and to avoid litigation. In an action for partition of or to foreclose a mortgage on such lands wherein the commissioner is so empowered, the plaintiffs shall not be entitled to costs if the people of the state are made a party defendant, unless the commissioner after a full presentation of the facts to him shall have determined before such action is brought against the state that the interests of the state did not warrant his making an order for the payment or cancellation of such mortgage, lien or incumbrance, or any amount due thereon, or for the acquisition of any outstanding undivided interest adverse to the state, or pursuant to this section, or unless the commissioner shall have failed to make such determination within three months after such full presentation of facts shall have been made to him by a verified statement in writing, and filed with the commissioner at his office in the city of Albany, nor unless a certified copy of the designated commissioners’ report of partition, and of the referee’s or sheriff’s report of sale, in case of a sale, filed in the action shall have been duly served upon the attorney-general; and in no such case wherein the people are made a party defendant because of an interest other than the lien of a tax under article ten of the tax law, shall any additional allowance under sections fourteen hundred and seventy-four or fourteen hundred and seventy-five of the civil practice act be made to the plaintiff.

Source: Section 17 — Payment of incumbrances on public lands; adverse claims; costs, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/PBL/17 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).

State-owned real property inventory and management program
Certain transfers of jurisdiction over state-owned lands and declarations of abandonment by the commissioner of general services
Transfers of certain funds
Powers and duties
Vesting of crown lands in the people of the state
Letters patent, form and contents
Determination of claims based on alleged failure of title
Partition of lands held by the state in joint tenancy or tenancy in common
Trespasses upon state lands
Penalty for trespasses
Power to investigate before grant
Power to confirm defective grant
Certain patents and grants ratified
Certain patents ratified and confirmed
Grants to heirs, devisees or successors in interest
Time of performing conditions of grant
Prohibitions as to grants in Lake George
Filling in the state owned bed of Lake George prohibited
Reservation of Esopus island
Payment of incumbrances on public lands
Abandonment of claims under defective tax sales
Expenses chargeable to special funds
Taxes and assessments for local improvements on state lands
State aid
State aid
Grants of lands in Onondaga salt springs reservation designated on certain map
Conveyance of strips of abandoned canal lands and Onondaga salt springs reservation land
Management of sand and gravel resources
Disposition of moneys received from sale of certain state lands and sand and gravel thereon
Sale or exchange of certain detached parcels of forest preserve lands
Sale or exchange of real property owned by the state and devoted to the use of the organized militia
Refunds when sales cannot be completed
Acquisition of real property by purchase or appropriation
Transfer of state lands or watershed conservation easements to the city of New York for water supply protection purposes
Watershed conservation easements and watershed agricultural easements

Dec. 2, 2023

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 17’s source at nysenate​.gov

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