Jennifer Ogren; Lisa Marie Ogren Castle; Eric Marcus Ogren, Plaintiffs and Appellants
Marlene Sandaker; Karen Walden; Marlys Rulon; Defendants and Appellees and Jennie Rae Davis; Joel D. Wagner, as Personal Representative of the estate of Marilyn C. Wagner; Randy Barkie; Andrew Barkie; Kurt B. Barkie; Patrick Flanigan; Cristina Flanigan; Alfred Barkie; Paulette Barkie; Mary Cook; Marathon Oil Company; Oasis Petroleum North America LLC; and all other person known and unknown having or claiming any right, title, estate or interest in or lien or encumbrance upon the real property described in the complaint, whether as heirs, devisees, legatees, or Personal Representatives of the aforementioned parties or as holding any claim adverse to Plaintiffs' ownership or any cloud upon Plaintiffs' title thereto, Defendants
from the District Court of Williams County, Northwest
Judicial District, the Honorable David W. Nelson, Judge.
Campbell, for plaintiffs and appellants.
E. Kalil, for defendants and appellees.
1] Jennifer Ogren, Lisa Marie Ogren Castle and Eric Marcus
Ogren appeal from a summary judgment in favor of Marlene
Sandaker, Karen Walden and Marlys Rulon. The Ogrens argue the
district court erred by granting summary judgment in favor of
Sandaker, Walden and Rulon because the 1958 assignment of
royalty granted a fractional royalty and not a fraction of
royalty. We affirm.
2] In 1958 Mike and Lorene Albert conveyed a 1/8th royalty
interest to each of Mike Albert's seven siblings. Mike
and Lorene Albert retained the mineral interest and a 1/8th
royalty interest. Each of Mike Albert's siblings owned a
1/8th royalty interest. The conveying language of the 1958
assignment of royalty states:
"That Mike Albert and Lorene Albert, husband and wife,
... do hereby sell, assign, transfer, convey and set over
unto the said assignees, all of their right, title and
interest in and to the Seven-eighths (7/8 SHARE) royalty, of
all of the oil and of all the gas produced and saved from the
hereinafter described lands."
intent language of the instrument states:
"IT IS THE INTENT OF THE ASSIGNORS to assign to each of
the seven assignees an equal, but undivided, one-seventh
division of the seven-eighths share of royalty being assigned
herewith so that each assignee receives an undivided
one-eighth share of the total royalty."
instrument further provides: "assignors do hereby assign
said royalty under the lease now covering said lands as well
as any lease, or leases, that may be hereafter made covering
3] In 2004 Lorene Albert, as surviving widow of Mike Albert,
conveyed to her children, Kathryn Ogren, Karen Walden,
Marlene Sandaker and Marlys Albert, her remaining 1/8th
royalty interest in the property. Through a series of
assignments and corrective assignments, Kathryn Ogren
obtained 5/8th of the 7/8th royalty interests from her
relatives who received the 1958 assignment. Kathryn Ogren
then conveyed the 5/8th royalty interest and her share of the
1/8th royalty interest received from her parents to her
children, Erik Marcus Ogren and Lisa Marie Ogren Castle.
4] In 2009 Sandaker, Walden and Rulon leased the property to
an oil company for a 3/16th royalty interest. In 2011 an
attorney prepared a drilling title opinion concluding the
1958 assignment of royalty conveyed a fractional royalty to
Mike Albert's seven siblings. A second title opinion in
2012 concluded the 1958 assignment of royalty conveyed a
fraction of royalty to Mike Albert's seven siblings.
5] In 2013 the Ogrens commenced an action to quiet title to
the disputed royalty interests. The parties filed
cross-motions for summary judgment to resolve the
interpretation of the 1958 assignment. The district court
entered an order and judgment in favor of Sandaker, Walden
and Rulon, ...