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Rocky Mountain Steel Foundations, Inc. v. Brockett Company, LLC

Supreme Court of North Dakota

April 10, 2018

Rocky Mountain Steel Foundations, Inc., Plaintiff and Appellant
v.
Brockett Company, LLC and Amber Brockett, Defendants and Mitchell's Oil Field Services, Inc., aka Wood Group; and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, Defendants and Appellees

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

          Monte L. Rogneby (argued) and Briana L. Rummel (appeared), Bismarck, ND, for plaintiff and appellant.

          Nicholas C. Grant, Dickinson, ND, for defendants and appellees Mitchell's Oil Field Services, Inc., also known as Wood Group, and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America.

          OPINION

          Crothers, Justice

         [¶ 1] Rocky Mountain Steel Foundations, Inc., appeals from a judgment invalidating its oil and gas construction liens and awarding attorney fees to Mitchell's Oil Field Services, Inc., also known as Wood Group, and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America (collectively "Mitchell's"). We reverse the judgment and remand, concluding the district court erred as a matter of law by finding N.D.C.C. § 35-24-04 invalidated Rocky Mountain's liens and in awarding Mitchell's statutory attorney fees.

         I

         [¶ 2] The parties stipulated to the following facts:

1. On May 22, 2014 Mitchell's, as general contractor, entered into a contract with Brockett Company, LLC, as subcontractor, and Amber Brockett, as personal guarantor (collectively "Brockett"), to purchase construction materials for installation on certain oil wells.
2. On May 22, 2014 Brockett purchased materials from Rocky Mountain to fulfill Brockett's contract with Mitchell's.
3. On June 12, 2014 Mitchell's paid Brockett in full.
4. On June 20, 2014 Rocky Mountain delivered the materials. Mitchell's installed the materials.
5. On October 24, 2014 Rocky Mountain recorded two oil and gas well liens against the wells because Brockett had not paid Rocky Mountain. Rocky Mountain sent written notice of the liens by certified mail. The owners received notice on or about November 11, 2014.
6. On November 20, 2014 Mitchell's recorded lien release bonds with the McKenzie County Recorder. The liens were ...

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