156-21.  Canal maintained for seven years presumed a necessity; drainage assessments declared liens.

After a canal has been dug along any natural depression or waterway and maintained for seven years, it shall be prima facie evidence of its necessity, and upon application to the clerk of the superior court of any landowner who is interested in maintaining the same, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the superior court to appoint and cause to be summoned three disinterested and discreet freeholders, who, after being duly sworn, shall go upon the lands drained or intended to be drained by such canal, and after carefully examining the same and hearing such testimony as may be introduced touching the question of cost of canal, the amount paid, and the advantages and disadvantages to be shared by each of the parties to the action, shall make their report in writing to the clerk of the superior court stating the facts and apportioning the cost of maintaining such canal among the parties to the action, and the cost of the action shall be divided in the same ratio; and their report when approved shall be properly registered by the clerk and the said report or reports shall, when filed in the office of the clerk of the superior court, be a lien upon each tract of land embraced in said report or reports to the extent of the proportionate part of the costs stipulated in said report or reports as a charge against same, and shall have the effect and force of a judgment thereon, and such judgments shall be subject to execution and collection as in cases of  other judgments. (1899, c. 255, s. 3; Rev., s. 4026; 1917, c. 248, s. 1; C.S., s. 5280; 1931, c. 227, s. 1.)