Texas Law
Water Code (Auxillary Laws)


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Texas Laws | Water Code (Auxillary Laws)

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CHAPTER 1. USE OF STATE WATER

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CHAPTER 3. WATER CONTROL AND PRESERVATION DISTRICTS

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Art. 7808. MAY ESTABLISH. One or more water control and preservation districts may be established in the several counties, or a part of any county, or in two or more adjacent counties, or in parts of two or more adjacent counties, or in one county and part of an adjacent county or counties, in the manner provided in this chapter.

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Art. 7809. PURPOSES. Said districts, when established, shall be for the purpose of the control and preservation of the purity of the waters of any rivers, creeks, bayous, lakes, canals, streams or other waters of any kind and character situated or flowing, in whole or in part, through the said district, or any part thereof, by the prevention of the inflow of salt water or other deleterious substances, or by the changing of said waters from salt to fresh water, and the impounding of fresh water for such purposes.

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Art. 7810. POWERS. Such districts, when established, shall have full power to erect, construct, maintain, repair and reconstruct dams, bulkheads, jetties, locks, gates, or any other character of improvement or construction necessary to the accomplishment of any such purpose, and to make such construction without the boundaries of the district, where same may be deemed necessary to the preservation, or the improvement of the purity and irrigable quality of such waters; and may issue bonds in payment therefor.

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Art. 7811. PETITION. Upon the presentation to the commissioners court of a petition signed by twenty-five of the resident property taxpayers of any proposed district praying for the establishment thereof within the county, and setting forth the boundaries, and accompanied by a map thereof, the general nature of the improvements proposed, and an estimate of the probable cost thereof, and praying for the issuance of bonds and levy of a tax in payment thereof, and designating a name for such district which shall include the name of the county; and accompanied by the affidavit of the petitioners stating that they are resident property taxpayers of such county; the court shall set the same down for a hearing at a regular or called session, not less than thirty nor more than sixty days thereafter.

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Art. 7812. CONTINGENT DEPOSIT. The petition shall be accompanied by five hundred dollars in cash which shall be deposited with the clerk of the commissioners court of the county in which the largest portion of the proposed district is situated.

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Art. 7813. NOTICE OF HEARING. The court shall, when setting a date for the hearing, order the clerk of said court to give notice of the date and place of said hearing by posting, or causing to be posted, not less than twenty days prior to the hearing, a copy of said petition and the order of the court thereon, one at the courthouse door and four others within the limits of the proposed district.

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Art. 7814. HEARING. Any person who may be affected thereby may appear before said court and contest the creation of said district, or contend for its creation, and may offer testimony in favor of or against the boundaries of said district to show that the proposed improvements would or would not be of any public utility, and would or would not be feasible or practicable, and the probable cost of such improvements, or as to any other matter pertaining to the proposed district.

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Art. 7815. HEARING: AUTHORITY OF COURT. Unless otherwise provided, the commissioners court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all contests and objections to the creation and establishment of any district, and shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all subsequent proceedings of any organized district, and may adjourn hearing on any matter connected therewith from day to day; and all judgments, decrees or orders rendered or entered by said court in relation thereto shall be final.

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Art. 7816. FINDINGS. If at said hearing it appears to the court that the organization of such district and the proposed improvement is feasible and practicable, and that it would be a public benefit or public utility, then it shall so find, and shall also find the amount of money necessary for said improvement and for all expenses incident thereto and the expenses necessarily incurred in connection with the creation and establishment of the district, and shall specify the amount of bonds to issue, the length of time the bonds shall run, and the rate of interest said bonds shall bear.

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Art. 7817. MAY RENEW PETITION. The order dismissing said petition or any appeal therefrom shall not prevent the presentation at any subsequent time of a similar petition with changed boundaries, but the presentation of a similar petition with identical boundaries shall not be permitted until the expiration of six months after such dismissal.

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Art. 7818. APPEAL. Any petitioner or taxpayer in such district may appeal from the findings of said court to the district court of said county.

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Art. 7819. APPEAL: PROCEEDINGS. Within five days from the filing of the appeal bond, the county clerk shall transfer to the district clerk all records filed with the commissioners court pertaining to the establishment of said district, and it shall not be necessary to file additional pleadings in said court.

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Art. 7820. ELECTION ORDER. If the petition is granted, the commissioners court shall order an election to be held in such district at the earliest legal time, to determine whether or not such district shall be created and whether or not a tax shall be levied sufficient to pay the interest and provide a sinking fund to redeem said bonds at maturity.

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Art. 7821. NOTICE OF ELECTION. Notice of such election stating the time and place of holding the same shall be given by the county clerk by posting or causing to be posted notices thereof in four public places in such district and one at the courthouse door, for thirty days prior to the election.

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Art. 7822. BALLOT. The commissioners court shall provide twice as many ballots as there are qualified resident property tax paying voters within such district.

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Art. 7823. ELECTION: CONDUCT OF. None but resident property taxpayers who are qualified voters of said proposed district shall be entitled to vote at such election.

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Art. 7824. LIST OF VOTERS. The tax collector of the county wherein such district is situated, prior to the election, shall make a certified list of the property taxpayers of said district and furnish to the presiding judge of each precinct a list of such voters in such precinct.

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Art. 7825. VOTER'S OATH. Any person who acquired property in said district after the first day of January of the preceding year may vote in said election upon taking the following oath before the presiding judge of the polling place where he offers to vote, and such judge is authorized to administer same: "I do solemnly swear that I am a qualified voter of .

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Art. 7826. TAXPAYER'S OATH. Any person whose name was erroneously omitted from said list of voters may vote at said election upon the taking the oath as prescribed in the preceding article except that in lieu of the clause "that I was not subject to pay property tax in said district for the preceding year," there shall be substituted "that I was subject to and did pay property tax in said district for the preceding year.

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Art. 7827. RESULTS OF ELECTION. Said court shall canvass the vote, and if two-thirds of such votes are in favor of the proposition submitted, then the court shall declare the result of said election to be in favor of said district, and shall enter same in their minutes as provided in the succeeding article.

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Art. 7828. DECLARATION OF RESULT. Said order of the court shall be as follows: "Commissioners court of .

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Art. 7829. BOARD OF DIRECTORS. At the same meeting when said order is made, or at a called meeting within five days thereafter, the court shall appoint a board of directors consisting of three members, all of whom shall be freehold property taxpayers and legal voters of the county embraced in whole or in part within the district, and more than twenty-one years of age.

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Art. 7830. COMBINED DISTRICT. Where a proposed district lies partly within two or more counties, the petition for the establishment of said district shall be presented to the commissioners court of each county.

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Art. 7831. COMBINED DISTRICT: DECLARATION. Said county judge shall canvass said vote and declare the result thereof, and if two-thirds of such votes favor the creation of said district, he shall declare the result and make the same order as provided herein for a single district.

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Art. 7832. COMBINED DISTRICT: HEARING. The commissioners court of each county shall hear and determine the matters relating to the establishment of said district in their county, in the same manner as provided for a single district, and appeals may be taken therefrom to the district court of any county in which any part of said district is situated, in the manner provided herein for a single district.

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Art. 7833. COMBINED DISTRICT: DIRECTORS. A board of five directors shall be elected at the same election held for the establishment of such district, and the ballot therefor may have printed thereon the names of such candidates, or the voter may write upon his ballot the names of the persons voted for as directors; and the five persons receiving the highest number of votes so cast shall be the directors of said district, and shall hold office until the next regular election.

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Art. 7834. COMBINED DISTRICT: ELECTION. On the second Tuesday of January after the establishment of such district, and biennially thereafter, an election for such directors shall be held in each such county in accordance with the election laws of this State and the provisions of this chapter for elections for establishing a district.

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Art. 7835. DIRECTOR'S BOND AND OATH. Within ten days after their appointment or election, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the directors shall each make a good and sufficient bond for five thousand dollars payable to their district, conditioned upon the faithful performance of their duties, to be approved by the commissioners court of the county in which the director resides, and such bond and a copy of the order approving same shall be filed with the county clerk of the county in which the largest part of the district is situated.

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Art. 7836. COUNTY OFFICERS: COMPENSATION. Unless otherwise provided, the duties and powers herein conferred upon the county judges and members of the commissioners court, and other officers are made a part of the regular duties of said officials, which they shall render and perform without additional compensation, and the county clerk shall receive the same compensation for his services hereunder as provided for similar services under Chapter 2 hereof.

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Art. 7837. ORGANIZATION OF BOARD. As soon as possible after their qualification, the directors shall organize by electing one of their number president and one as district secretary.

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Art. 7838. MEETINGS. During the progress of the construction of any improvement under contract, the directors shall maintain a regular office within such district, and may in their discretion when deemed necessary, maintain a regular office in the district during any other time.

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Art. 7839. POWERS. The directors shall have control over the management of all district affairs, shall make all contracts pertaining thereto, and shall employ all necessary employés for the proper conduct and operation of such district, including engineers, bookkeepers and such other assistants and such laborers as may be required, at such compensation as they may determine, and may require bonds of any employés in any amount they may determine.

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Art. 7840. POWERS: LIMITATION. Where the district lies wholly in one county, the directors shall not, after the completion of the improvements, employ any attorneys as legal advisers of the district or an engineer for such district, or any other employés, except with the concurrence and consent of the commissioners court of such county; and the compensation paid by any such attorney, engineer, or employéso employed shall be fixed by the directors subject to the approval of the commissioners court.

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Art. 7841. FURTHER POWERS. The directors may employ a general manager to have general charge of the work, paying such compensation as may be agreed upon by the directors.

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Art. 7842. OFFICIAL BONDS. All district officers and employés who may be required to give bond or security may furnish bonds of surety companies, subject to the approval of the directors.

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Art. 7843. DISTRICT RECORDS. The directors, through the secretary, shall keep a true account of all matters and proceedings of the board, and shall maintain the records of the district in a secure manner.

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Art. 7844. DISBURSEMENTS. All payments of any district funds shall be by voucher upon the district depository, and all such vouchers shall be signed by the president or any two directors.

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Art. 7845. DISTRICT DEPOSITORY. The directors shall select a depository for such district in the same manner as now provided by law for the selection of county depositories, and such depository shall be regulated by the same laws as those governing county depositories.

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Art. 7846. AUDIT AND REPORT. The directors shall annually require an audit to be made of the district records and accounts, at the time and in the manner provided for audits of Water Improvement Districts under Chapter 2 of this title, and on the first of January of each year they shall make and file a report of the condition of the district affairs and other data required of directors of Water Improvement Districts.

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Art. 7847. STATUS OF DISTRICT. Any district may by and through its directors sue and be sued in the name of such district, and all courts of this State shall take judicial notice of the establishment of such districts; and said districts shall contract and be contracted with in the name of such districts.

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Art. 7848. SUITS AFFECTING DISTRICT. No suit shall be brought in any Court of this State contesting the validity or enjoining the formation of any district, or any bonds issued hereunder, or in anywise affecting the establishment of the district, or issuance of bonds by such district, except in the name of this State by the Attorney General, upon his own motion or upon the motion of any party affected thereby, upon good cause shown.

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Art. 7849. PROPERTY RIGHTS. The directors are hereby empowered to acquire the necessary right of way and property of any kind or character whatsoever for all necessary improvements contemplated by this chapter, by gift, grant, purchase or condemnation proceedings, within or without the boundaries of the district; and any property acquired may be conveyed to the United States in so far as the same shall be necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance of works by the United States under any contract that may be entered into between the district and the United States.

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Art. 7849a. RESISTING WATER CONTROL OFFICER. The directors of any Water Control and Preservation District and the engineers and employés thereof are hereby authorized to go upon any land lying within said district for the purpose of examining same for locating dams, bulkheads, jetties, locks, gates or any other character of improvement or construction necessary to the accomplishment of the purposes of the district, to make maps and profiles thereof, and are hereby authorized to go upon lands beyond the boundaries of such districts for the purposes stated and for any other purposes necessarily connected therewith whether herein enumerated or not.

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Art. 7850. EMINENT DOMAIN. The right of eminent domain is hereby conferred upon all districts for the purpose of condemning and acquiring the right of way over and through all lands, private and public, except property used for cemetery purposes, necessary for making and maintaining dams, bulkheads, jetties, locks, gates and all other improvements necessary and proper for such construction.

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Art. 7851. DISTRICT ENGINEER. The directors shall have authority to employ a competent engineer whose term of office shall be at the will of the directors.

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Art. 7852. FEDERAL CO-OPERATION. The directors shall have full power to co-operate and act with the United States or any officer or department thereof, in any manner pertaining or relating to the construction and maintenance of any improvement, whether by survey, work or expenditure of money made or to be made, either by the directors or by Federal authority, or both.

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Art. 7853. CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS. If the district improvements are not carried out by the United States, the contracts for such improvements shall be let by the directors to the lowest and best responsible bidder.

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Art. 7854. SUPERVISION OF WORK. All work contracted for, unless done under Federal supervision, shall be done under the supervision of the district engineer.

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Art. 7856. MAINTENANCE OF DISTRICT. After the full and final completion of all improvements of the district, and after payment of all expenses incurred under this chapter, the directors are authorized to use the funds remaining in the Construction and Maintenance Fund for the best interest of such district in the preservation, upkeep, repair and reconstruction of the works of such district.

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Art. 7857. JOINT PROJECT. Two or more districts may by contract join in the construction of any improvement and enter upon any work authorized hereunder, as a joint project, when in the judgment of the directors of each district, such improvement, work or construction will be advantageous to the respective districts.

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Art. 7858. JOINT ACTION. When improvements are constructed by two or more districts, bids may be jointly called for and opened and considered at the designated office of either district, and the directors of such districts shall approve the letting of the contract and contractor's bond, and may meet and transact all business for that or any other purpose concerning such project at a place outside the district, or at any office established for such joint project.

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Art. 7859. ISSUANCE OF BONDS. Immediately after their organization, the directors shall enter an order directing the issuance of bonds for such district within the limits authorized by the election held therefor, sufficient to cover the cost of the proposed improvements, all of the expenses incident thereto, and the expenses necessarily incurred in connection with the creation and establishment of the district; and they shall levy a tax upon all property subject to taxation in the district, sufficient to pay the interest on such bonds, with an amount to be placed in the sinking fund sufficient to redeem said bonds at maturity, and such levy shall remain as a levy for such purpose until a new levy is made.

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Art. 7860. BONDS: REQUISITES. All bonds issued under this chapter shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 2 of this title governing the issuance, denomination, rate of interest, maturity dates, manner of payment, proceedings to test validity, and registration by the Comptroller, of bonds of water improvement districts.

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Art. 7861. BONDS: LIMIT OF ISSUE. Said bonds shall not exceed in amount one-fourth of the assessed valuation of the real property of such district.

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Art. 7862. BONDS: RECORD. The directors shall provide a well bound book in which a record shall be kept by the clerk of the county in which the largest portion of said district is situated, of all bonds issued with their numbers, amounts, rate of interest, date of issue, when due, where payable, the annual rate of tax levy made each year to provide for interest and sinking fund, and of each payment made thereon.

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Art. 7863. CHANGE IN PLANS. If after an election has been held for the issuance of bonds, the directors shall consider it necessary to make any modification or change in any proposed improvements, they shall, with the concurrence of all the directors, be authorized to make such change.

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Art. 7864. ADDITIONAL BONDS. If the directors shall determine to make additional improvements, works or construction in order to carry out the purposes for which said district was organized, or to reconstruct any improvements theretofore made, and the amount derived from the bonds issued or authorized is not sufficient, a resolution to that effect shall be duly entered upon the minutes of the board, and a certified copy thereof presented to each commissioners court in the district.

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Art. 7865. RESOLUTION. Said resolution shall set forth the proposed work, the amount of bonds to be issued to pay for same, their rate of interest and maturity dates, and shall embody therein a request to the commissioners court or courts to order an election in such counties to vote on such propositions and whether or not a tax shall be levied to provide for the interest and sinking fund for such bonds at a day specified in the resolution.

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Art. 7866. ADDITIONAL BONDS: REQUISITES. The commissioners court must, on receipt of such resolution, order an election on the day specified therein.

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Art. 7867. ADDITIONAL BONDS: BALLOT. The ballot for such election shall have printed thereon the words and none other: "For the issuance of additional Water Control and Preservation Bonds and levy of tax in payment thereof;" "Against the issuance of additional Water Control and Preservation Bonds and levy of tax in payment thereof.

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Art. 7868. BONDS: SALE. After registration of said bonds by the Comptroller, the directors shall sell the same on the best terms and for the best price possible, not less than their face value and the accrued interest thereon; or they may exchange bonds in payment of the contract price for work to be done for the use and benefit of said district.

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Art. 7869. CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE FUND. There is hereby created a "Construction and Maintenance Fund" of such district, which shall consist of all moneys received from the sale of bonds and all other amounts received by said district from whatsoever source, except the tax collections applied to the interest and sinking fund on bonds.

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Art. 7870. TAX LEVY. The directors shall annually levy and cause to be assessed taxes upon all property within said district sufficient to pay the expenses of assessing and collecting same, and a tax sufficient for the expenses incident to the maintenance of the district.

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Art. 7871. ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION OF TAXES. The county tax assessor-collector shall assess and collect the taxes levied by the district.

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Art. 7877. MAINTENANCE TAX. The directors shall have authority as occasion may require, in their discretion, to levy a tax on all property within such district in an amount sufficient to pay for the proper maintenance, operation and repair of any dams, bulkheads, jetties, locks, gates or any other improvement constructed by said district.

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Art. 7879. INTEREST AND SINKING FUND. There is hereby created an "Interest and Sinking Fund" for such district, and all taxes collected under this chapter for the payment of bonds and interest thereon shall be credited to such fund and shall never be paid out except for the purpose of satisfying and discharging the interest on said bonds, or for the payment, cancellation and surrender of said bonds.

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Art. 7880. MAY INVEST SINKING FUND. The directors are empowered, whenever they deem it advisable, to invest any sinking fund of the district in bonds of the United States, of this State, of any county of Texas, any irrigation or water improvement or navigation bonds, or bonds of any school district in Texas authorized to issue bonds.

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CHAPTER 11. IN GENERAL

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