(765 ILCS 540/20)
Joint owners; trusts.
(a) If the title to coal is owned by joint tenants, tenants in
common, or tenants by the entirety, whether the title is derived
by purchase, legacy, or descent, any coal owner
at least a one-half interest in the coal under the lands, or any
coal lessee of the coal owner or owners,
upon proper petition, shall be authorized
to mine and remove coal from the land in the manner provided
in this Act, provided, however, that a petition shall not be authorized under
this Act for the mining and removal of coal by the surface method of mining
unless all of the owners of the surface consent to the mining and removal of
coal by the surface method of mining.
This Act affects only coal owners, as defined in Section 10 of this
Act, and does not affect the rights of surface owners, except to the extent
that they may also be coal owners.
(b) The circuit court of the county in which the coal lands
or the major portion of those lands lie has the power to declare
a trust in those lands,
appoint a trustee for all persons owning
an interest in the coal who are not plaintiffs, and authorize
the trustee to sell, execute, and deliver a valid lease on those
lands on behalf of all of the defendants on terms and conditions
approved by the circuit court for the purposes
provided in this Act. The lease shall continue in full force
and effect after the termination of the trust unless the lease
has previously expired by its own terms.
(Source: P.A. 92-390, eff. 8-16-01.)