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Mary K. Johnson, Robert G. Liebl, Gregory D. Liebl and Deann R. Liebl v. Bertha Hovland

March 22, 2011

MARY K. JOHNSON, ROBERT G. LIEBL, GREGORY D. LIEBL AND DEANN R. LIEBL, PLAINTIFFS AND APPELLANTS
v.
BERTHA HOVLAND, LAMBERT HOVLAND, AND ALL OTHER PERSONS UNKNOWN CLAIMING ANY ESTATE IN OR LIEN OR ENCUMBRANCE UPON THE PROPERTY DESCRIBED IN THE COMPLAINT,
DEFENDANTS AND APPELLEES
v.
EOG RESOURCES, INC.,
INTERVENOR DEFENDANT



Appeal from the District Court of Mountrail County, Northwest Judicial District, the Honorable Richard L. Hagar, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kapsner, Justice.

N.D. Supreme Court

Johnson v. Hovland,

2011 ND 64

This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents]

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AFFIRMED.

Opinion of the Court by Kapsner, Justice.

Johnson v. Hovland

No. 20100043

[¶1] Mary Johnson, Robert Liebl, Gregory Liebl and DeAnn Liebl (collectively, "Liebls") appeal from a summary judgment entered in favor of the heirs and devisees of Lambert Hovland and Ritter, Laber & Associates, Inc. (collectively "Hovlands"), determining the ownership of certain mineral rights in real property. Because the district court did not err in denying the Liebls' motion to amend their complaint to allege a claim for reformation of a deed and in granting the Hovlands' motion for summary judgment, we affirm.

I

[¶2] In 1976, Mathilda Olson conveyed a 50 percent mineral interest in real property in Mountrail County to her daughter, Bertha Hovland. At the time, Bertha Hovland was married to Lambert Hovland. The mineral deed transferring the interest to Bertha Hovland was executed on March 22, 1976, and recorded on March 23, 1976. Two days later, on March 25, 1976, the mineral deed was re-recorded, but containing additional language stating an intention to grant Bertha Hovland a life estate in the 50 percent mineral interest with the remainder going to the Liebls. The re-recorded deed had not been re-signed or re-acknowledged before a notary public. The Liebls are the children and grandchildren of Bertha Hovland from a prior marriage. Under the additional language, Mary Johnson and Robert Liebl, Bertha's children, each received a one-third remainder interest in the conveyance, and Gregory Liebl and DeAnn Liebl, Bertha's grandchildren, each received a one-sixth remainder interest. Bertha Hovland died intestate in 1978, and Lambert Hovland died in 1983. Neither Bertha Hovland nor Lambert Hovland's estate probated the mineral interest at issue.

[ΒΆ3] In 1978, the Liebls each executed a ratification of an oil and gas lease that Bertha Hovland had entered into in 1976, as having or claiming to have "some right, title or interest in or to the property covered by said Oil and Gas Lease" in the property at issue. In 1990, the Liebls each executed a "Stipulation of Interest" each asserting their respective ownership interest, for total of a 50 percent interest in the property's mineral rights. In 1992, the Liebls each executed an "Oil and Gas Lease" asserting their 50 percent mineral interest ownership in the property. In May 2007, the Liebls ...


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