Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Trulson v. Meiers

Supreme Court of North Dakota

October 3, 2019

Curtis R. Trulson and Lesley D. Trulson, Plaintiffs and Appellants
v.
John Anthony Meiers, Jean R. Meiers, Evan J. Meiers and Lauren B. Meiers, Defendants and Appellees

          Appeal from the District Court of Mountrail County, North Central Judicial District, the Honorable Todd L. Cresap, Judge.

          Erich M. Grant, Minot, ND, for plaintiffs and appellants.

          Erin M. Conroy, Bottineau, ND, for defendants and appellees.

          OPINION

          McEvers, Justice.

         [¶1] Curtis and Lesley Trulson appeal a judgment quieting title to a mineral royalty interest in John ("Tony") and Jean Meiers. The district court ruled a royalty deed from the Meiers was not delivered and did not convey a royalty interest to the Trulsons. We conclude the district court misapplied the law because the Meiers failed to rebut the presumption that the deed was delivered to the Trulsons. We reverse and remand for entry of judgment consistent with this opinion.

         I

         [¶2] In January 1982, the Meiers executed a warranty deed conveying a quarter of land in Mountrail County to the Trulsons. The deed stated "[n]o minerals are transferred by this conveyance." In June 1982, the Meiers executed a royalty deed conveying a one-twelfth (1/12) royalty interest in the minerals under the property to the Trulsons. The royalty deed was not notarized and was not recorded by the Trulsons until December 2008.

         [¶3] In April 2017, the Trulsons sued the Meiers claiming ownership of the mineral royalty interest. The Trulsons argued the Meiers conveyed the royalty interest under the June 1982 royalty deed. The Meiers asserted the statute of limitations barred the Trulsons' claim, and the Trulsons could not prove the Meiers delivered the royalty deed to them. The district court denied both parties' motions for summary judgment, concluding there was a genuine issue of material fact on delivery of the royalty deed.

         [¶4] Curtis Trulson introduced the royalty deed into evidence at a bench trial and testified that Tony Meiers delivered the deed to him in June 1982. Trulson testified the parties discussed the conveyance of a mineral royalty interest as part of the purchase of the surface estate. Tony and Jean Meiers both testified that the deed contained their signatures but they did not remember delivering the deed to the Trulsons. Jean Meiers testified that the Meiers did not intend to convey a mineral interest and the Trulsons may have obtained the deed by accident.

         [¶5] After trial, the district court found the Meiers did not intend to convey a mineral royalty interest to the Trulsons. The court entered a judgment quieting title to the disputed royalty interest in the Meiers.

         II

         [¶6] The Trulsons argue the district court erred in quieting title to the mineral royalty interest in the Meiers. They claim the court misapplied the law in making its decision. We agree.

         [¶7] Whether there was delivery of a deed is a question of fact. Rice v. Neether, 2016 ND 247, ¶ 9, 888 N.W.2d 749. A finding of fact is clearly erroneous if it is induced by an erroneous view of the law, if no evidence exists to support it, or if this Court, on reviewing the entire evidence, is left with a definite and firm conviction a mistake has been made. Id. at ¶ 9.

         [¶8] Conveyance by deed takes effect upon delivery of the deed by the grantor. CUNA Mortg. v. Aafedt, 459 N.W.2d 801, 803-04 (N.D. 1990) (citing N.D.C.C. § 47-09-06). "Absent a delivery of the deed, the deed is of no effect." CUNA Mortg., at 804. Delivery must be proven on the basis ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.