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: Maring, Justice.
Northern Oil & Gas, Inc. v. Creighton,
2013 ND 73 This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents]
[Download as WordPerfect]
Opinion of the Court by Maring, Justice.
[¶1] Northern Oil & Gas, Inc. ("Northern") appeals from a judgment ordering reformation of an oil and gas lease and quieting title to the oil and gas leasehold estate in Murex Petroleum Corporation, John H. Holt, LBK Sales & Service, Inc., Racer Oil & Gas, LC, and Double L, LLC (collectively "Murex"). We conclude the district court erred in concluding, as a matter of law, that Creighton was not a good faith purchaser and we hold that there is a question of fact whether Creighton had constructive notice when he acquired rights under the lease. We reverse the judgment and remand for further proceedings.
[¶2] Brian and Holly Gunderson own certain real property in Mountrail County. In October 2004, the Gundersons entered into an oil and gas lease with Holt. The lease described the covered property as:
Township 155 North, Range 91 West
Section 25: S/2NE/4, S/2SE/4
Section 26: NE/4, SE/4SW/4
Section 35: E/2NW/4, SW/4NW/4 The lease was recorded in the Mountrail County Recorder's Office in November 2004. In February 2005, Holt assigned all of his interest in the lease, with the exception of an overriding royalty interest, to Murex Petroleum, LBK Sales & Service, Racer Oil & Gas, and Double L. The assignment was recorded in the Mountrail County Recorder's Office in April 2005.
[¶3] In November 2007, Alan Bradshaw, a landman working for Morris J. Creighton, determined the Gundersons owned unleased minerals. On approximately November 23, 2007, Bradshaw contacted the Gundersons about leasing the minerals. On November 25, 2007, the Gundersons ...