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Desert Partners IV, L.P. v. Benson

Supreme Court of North Dakota

February 18, 2016

Desert Partners IV, L.P., and Family Tree Corporation, Plaintiffs and Appellees
v.
Thomas H. Benson, Leatrice Benson, John Benson, Brian Benson, Ann P. Kemske, Jon Kemske; and all other persons unknown claiming any estate or interest in, or lien or encumbrance upon, the property described in the Complaint, Defendants John Benson, Appellant and Ann P. Kemske and Jon Kemske, Appellees

Appeal from the District Court of McKenzie County, Northwest Judicial District, the Honorable Robin A. Schmidt, Judge.

Nathan M. Bouray, Dickinson, N.D., for plaintiffs and appellees.

Amy J. Doll (on brief), Morris, MN, for defendants and appellees Ann P. Kemske and Jon Kemske. John Benson, self-represented, Minnetonka, MN, appellant.

Dale V. Sandstrom, Daniel J. Crothers, Lisa Fair McEvers, Carol Ronning Kapsner, Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J.

OPINION

Page 511

Dale V. Sandstrom, Justice.

[¶1] John Benson appeals from a summary judgment quieting title in disputed mineral interests in Desert Partners IV, L.P. Benson argues the district court erred in concluding Desert Partners and Family Tree Corporation, Inc., were entitled to summary judgment as good-faith purchasers for value of the disputed mineral interests. We conclude summary judgment was inappropriate, and we reverse and remand.

I

[¶2] This quiet title action involves competing claims to disputed mineral interests in 160 acres of land in McKenzie County, described as:

Township 152 North, Range 100 West
Section 33: E 1/26 S.C. 208, 2 S.E. 1/4
Section 34: W 1/90 Mo. 30, 2 S.W. 1/4

The disputed mineral interests stem from Elmer Benson, who, sometime before 1990, conveyed a 1/5th share in the mineral interests in the 160 acres to each ...


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