This seems to be the season for oil patch courts to return property to its rightful owners. Last week it was a regulatory taking by the City of Dallas. This week it is Northwest Landowners Association v. State of North Dakota, in which the North Dakota Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional on its face a
You might recall this post on Broadway National Bank, Trustee v. Yates Energy Corporation. We now have Yates Energy Corporation et al v. Broadway National Bank, Trustee, the court of appeals’ ruling after remand. Recall the result from the Supreme Court: Execution of the 2013 Amended Correction Mineral Deed by the parties to the original 2005 Mineral Deed and the 2006 Correction Mineral Deed, without joinder of the current owners of the minerals, complied with Texas Property Code §5.029. The question remaining was whether the current owners were bona fide purchases for value without notice. Skipping all sorts of rulings on side issues, the result is that current owner Yates was not a BFP. Other appellants survived to fight another day.
Continue Reading Texas Correction Deed Statute Revisited … Again
Co-author Max Brown
In the Estate of Terry Banta presents yet another purported Texas land transaction doomed because of disregard for the Statute of Frauds. Terry Banta and the Herriotts entered into an oral agreement for the Herriotts to purchase a piece of property from Banta. In an unfortunate turn of events for everyone, Banta…
Those who continue to be horrified by Broadway National Bank, Trustee v. Yates Energy Corp. should be relieved that the result in Endeavor Energy Resources, LP v. Anderson was more equitable. In Yates, the Texas Supreme Court held that Texas Property Code Section 5.029 permitted original parties to a conveyance to execute a…
Co-author Trevor Lawhorn
SM Energy Co. v. Union Pac. R.R. Co. considers a question frequently asked in Texas suits affecting title: When is a suit a trespass to try title action and not a declaratory judgment action?
SM Energy and Union Pacific are parties to three oil and gas leases covering lands in…
Co-author Carolina Cuppitelli*
The question presented in Aaron v. Fisher et al: Did mineral deeds bestow separate property upon the grantees by gift, or did they convey a community property interest to the grantees and their spouses by sale for consideration?
Why was the question important? A gift is the grantee’s separate property; a…
Co-author Brittany Blakey
The question in litigation is usually “WHAT”: what happened, what contract was breached, what did someone do or fail to do, and so on. In Hughes v. CJM Resources, LP, the question was, “WHO” had the right to file the suit in the first place? The Eastland Court of Appeals affirmed…
Co-author Max Brown
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. International Development Corporation resolved the question, In a 100 year old Pennsylvania deed is a “subject to” provision an exception to a grant or a warranty disclaimer?
- 1894: 2,094 acres are sold by deed from Proctor and Hill to Union Trading Company; Proctor and Hill reserve all minerals. This reservation is not reported to the taxing authority, and the property is assessed and taxed as a whole following the sale.
- 1903: Union deeds the surface to CPLC.
- 1908: Property is sold in a tax sale to McCauley. This effectively “washes” the title and reunifies the two estates; McCauley owns the surface and the minerals.
- 1910: McCauley conveys the property back to CPLC.
- 1920: CPLC sells the property and other land to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The deed had two key clauses.
The “First Clause”: The conveyance was “subject to” the mineral interests “as fully as said minerals and mineral rights were excepted and reserved in [the 1894 deed].”
The “Second Clause”: The conveyance was “also subject to all the reservations, exceptions, covenants, and stipulations contained in [the 1894 deed] … and in the [1903 deed].”
CPLC quitclaims the mineral rights, the minerals were resold multiple times, in 2000 International Development Corporation (IDC) purchases the property.
Who owns the mineral rights, IDC or Commonwealth?…
Continue Reading The Meaning of “Subject To” in a Deed
Consider the power of a single word over the fortunes of the parties to a property deed. Such was the effect of the court’s ruling in Barrow Shaver Resources, LLC, et al v. NETX Acquisitions, LLC, et al.
In 1963, by the Stone Deed, Dawson and Hill conveyed a 181-acre tract in Cass County, Texas, to the Stones (John and Treba, not the Rollings). The granting clause described the land by metes and bounds, and continued, “There is likewise conveyed … 1/8th of the Oil, Gas and Other Minerals … .” The conveyance was subject to an oil and gas lease then existing. At the time of the suit, Barrow Shaver had an oil and gas lease from Dawson/Hill and NETX had a lease from Merritt (successor to the Stones).
The question and spoiler alert
Did Dawson/Hill convey 1/8th of the minerals or did they convey 100% of the minerals and attempt to reserve 7/8ths in themselves? Dawson and Hill conveyed 1/8th of the minerals (and the surface, of course).
The Court’s journey to the answer…
Continue Reading Texas Court Decides What “Likewise” Means in a Conveyance