NY PUB LANDS § 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.