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Meyer v. Engebretson

Supreme Court of North Dakota

October 13, 2015

Douglas J. Meyer, Pamela C. Handley, Stephen T. Meyer, Andrea K. Meyer, Emil J. Meyer, Jr., Plaintiffs and Appellants
v.
Noman E. Engebretson, Stephanie C. McCall and Robert E. McCall Trustees of the Stephanie C. McCall Living Trust dated December 21, 2010, Karen E. Smith Personal Representative of the Estate of Caryl E. Smith, North Dakota Minerals, LLC, Wilma Wiengart, Daniel Meyer, Sandra Spehar, Claude Dean Davis, Kelly Marie Fox, Michelle Annette Jefferson, James Ghrames, Gary P. Hytrek, Pamela C. Hytrek, Cheryl D. Hytrek, Barbara June Nisley, Fred Louis Orchard, Eric J. (and Regina) Kaupanger, Elena M. Brady Trustee of the Mark A. Kaupanger 2008 Irrevocable Special Needs Trust, Heir of Arthur M. Kaupanger, Sonja M. Nelson, Kristiane Kaupanger, f/k/a Chris Ellis, Karen L. Kaupanger, Karlene R. Dahlmeier, Cynthia K. Kaupanger, Kurt Kaupanger, American Oil and Gas, Inc., Evertson Energy Partners Royalty, LLC, Gary C. Stewart, S& E Royalty, LLC, Sundance Energy, Inc., Morganthaler Oil and Gas Properties, LLC, Charles J. Heringer III Trustee, Horizon Royalties, LLC, OGR Bakken Resources, LLC, Hess Corporation, WM ND Energy Resources II, LLC, and any individual or entity known and or unknown who may have or claim interest in mineral ownership in and to all oil gas and other minerals in the subject lands, Defendants Hess Corporation, Sonja M. Eckert, Karen A. Bailey, Robert C. Engebretson, Henry M. Hanson, Dean C. Hanson, Angela Scott DeGrado, Myrna Elletson, Deanna Faye Asmus, Nancy Carlson, Debra Neff, Kristen Giuseffi, Dennis Meyer, Christie Meyer, Kay Malloy, Bruce R. Davis, John M. Pearsall, Jeanine Sanders, David O. Pearsall the Estate of Oliver O. Pearsall, c/o John M. Pearsall, Ann Marie Urban, LPI Holdings, LLC, Eagle Pass Properties, LLC, Rose Exploration, Inc., William R. LaCrosse and Tammy LaCrosse, XTO Energy, Inc., Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation, Northern Oil and Gas, Inc., Triangle USA Petroleum Corporation, Appellees

Appeal from the District Court of Williams County, Northwest Judicial District, the Honorable David W. Nelson, Judge.

Gary M. Beaudry, Big Fork, Mont., for plaintiffs and appellants.

Michael D. Schoepf (argued) and Lawrence Bender (on brief), Bismarck, N.D., for appellees John M. Pearsall, Jeanine Sanders, David O. Pearsall, The Estate of Oliver O. Pearsall, c/o John M. Pearsall, Ann Marie Urban, LPI Holdings, LLC, Eagle Pass Properties, LLC, Rose Exploration, Inc., William R. LaCrosse and Tammy LaCrosse, XTO Energy, Inc., Northern Oil and Gas, Inc., and Triangle USA Petroleum Corporation.

Jon Bogner (on brief), Dickinson, N.D., for appellee Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation.

Gene W. Allen (on brief), Beach, N.D., for appellees Sonja M. Eckert, Karen A. Bailey, Robert C. Engebretson, Henry M. Hanson, Dean C. Hanson, Angela Scott DeGrado, Myrna Elletson, Deanna Faye Asmus, Nancy Carlson, Debra Neff, Kristen Giuseffi, Dennis Meyer, Christie Meyer, Kay Malloy, and Bruce R. Davis.

Elizabeth E. Klingensmith (on brief) and Michael J. Mazzone (on brief), Houston, Tex.; Peter H. Furuseth (on brief) and Taylor D. Olson (on brief), Williston, N.D., for appellee Hess Corporation.

OPINION

Per Curiam.

[¶1] Douglas Meyer, Pamela Handley, Stephen Meyer, Andrea Meyer, and Emil Meyer, Jr. (collectively " Emil Meyer Heirs" ), appeal from a summary judgment deciding ownership of certain Williams County mineral interests. The Emil Meyer Heirs argue the district court erred in interpreting an executrix deed conveying property and excepting and reserving mineral interests. They contend the deed conveyed and reserved all of the decedent's mineral interests resulting in an overconveyance, the rule for construing overconveyances from Duhig v. Peavy-Moore Co., 135 Tex. 503, 144 S.W.2d 878 (1940) applies, and the purported reservation of the mineral interests was ineffective. In Waldock v. Amber Harvest Corp., 2012 ND 180, 820 N.W.2d 755, this Court interpreted a similar deed and rejected an argument that the plain language of the deed resulted in an overconveyance of mineral interests and that the Duhig rule applied. We conclude the plain language of the executrix deed is clear and unambiguous and the Duhig rule is not applicable because the deed did not result in an overconveyance of mineral interests. We summarily affirm under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(6) and (7).

[¶2] Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J., Carol Ronning Kapsner, Lisa Fair McEvers, Daniel J. Crothers, ...


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