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A trench or ditch to convey water from wet land; a channel through which water may flow off. The word has no technical legal meaning. Any hollow space in the ground, natural or artificial, where water is collected and passes off, is a ditch or drain.

Also, sometimes, the Easement or servitude (acquired by grant or prescription) that consists of the right to drain water through another's land.

A number of states have drainage statutes in order to protect the welfare of the public. Such statutes provide for the construction of drains in areas that are swampy, marshy, or overflowed past their natural boundaries. Also contained in drainage statutes are provisions that regulate the creation and organization of drainage districts. The state legislature has the discretion to decide which lands will be included within a particular drainage district. For example, such a district might include territory of a city or village or property in two or more counties.

The specific plan for the construction of a drain is within the discretion of local authorities as modified by limitations or restrictions set forth by state drainage statutes. Only land that will be benefited through drainage improvements should properly be included within a drainage district.

In certain instances, liability has been extended to drainage districts that have failed to maintain existing drains. In order to remedy this situation, in some cases, landowners are given a certain portion of a drain to clean out and maintain in proper repair. Regardless of whether or not a landowner is specifically given the responsibility for maintenance, a landowner may only close or obstruct a drain with his or her neighbors' consent. If the land of an individual is injured because a public drain is being obstructed by a neighbor, then the person can bring suit for the damage resulting therefrom.

Subject to limitations imposed by the U.S. Constitution, a state legislature has the power to authorize drainage districts to prescribe special assessments to cover the cost of drainage improvements. Generally, only those lands included within a particular district are subject to such assessment. In certain states, school lands are exempted from assessments that drainage districts levy. Assessment review boards frequently entertain objections to drainage assessments; however, if no such board exists, assessments are subject to judicial reviews in the courts. A property owner can, therefore, go to court to challenge what he or she believes to be an unjust drainage assessment against his or her land.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

DRAIN. Conveying the water from one place to another, for the purpose of drying the former
     2. The right of draining water through another map's land. This is an easement or servitude acquired by grant or prescription. Vide 3 Kent, Com. 436 7 Mann. & Gr. 354; Jus aguaeductus; Rain water; Stillicidium.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: Rampur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Aug 24 (ANI): Anjaneya Kumar Singh, the District Magistrate (DM) of Rampur, who was recently in the news for taking action against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, on Saturday set an example by engaging in the cleaning of drains in the town.
With the fear of monsoon-related floods looming large across the country, rain drains in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar require cleaning.
A similar storm drain is also required in Hyderabad to save it from flash floods.
This was following criticisms on social media that the state government had misrepresented the cleaning up of the Prangin Canal by diverting the drain water elsewhere.
Try not to let a drain clog completely; instead, deal with it as soon as you notice draining getting a little slow.
In group A, a drain was placed in subhepatic space after laparoscopic cholecystectomy and no drain was placed in group Bafter laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Patients enrolled randomly assigned to apply drains n= 50 and no drain n= 50, randomly chosen by computer analyst.
The GDZ range of electronic drains operates automatically to give the benefits of the float and timer drain without the potential for wasted compressed air.
However, there will be a whole host of interesting activities inspired by the drain available during the Doors Open Days weekend for those unable to take the tour.
According to him, the Egbe Idimu drainage channel that links the Festac Canals is one of the longest drain which cuts across so many communities.
One resident said that in the past four years, authorities come clean a little bit of the drain and then leave.