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Acoma Oil Corp. v. Wilson

North Dakota Supreme Court
471 N.W.2d 476 (N.D. 1991)


Facts

H.O. Moen owned a tract of land. He conveyed a cumulative 6.5 percent royalty interest in all gas and oil produced from the land to third parties. Subsequently, Moen conveyed the entire tract to Clayton Wilson by warranty deed. The deed did not mention the previously conveyed royalty interests. Wilson later conveyed an undivided 35/320 interest and an undivided 5/320 interest in the land’s oil and gas to Thomas Leach. Specifically, the deeds conveyed 35 and five “mineral acres,” respectively. These deeds did not mention the originally conveyed 6.5 percent royalty interests. Leach later obtained a title opinion, which found the 6.5 percent royalty interests. Acoma Oil Corp. and Clarke Bassett (plaintiffs) later obtained portions of the 35 and five mineral acres. Their deeds did not mention the originally conveyed 6.5 percent royalty interests. When Wilson and his wife died, their interest in the land passed to their children (Wilson children) (defendants). The plaintiffs brought suit against the Wilson children, seeking a declaration that their interests were not burdened by the originally conveyed 6.5 percent royalty interests. The trial court found in favor of the Wilson children, holding that Duhig v. Peavy-Moore Lumber Co., 144 S.W.2d 878 (Tex. 1940), did not apply, because of equitable estoppel in relation to Leach’s knowledge of the 6.5 percent royalty interests. The plaintiffs appealed. 

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Erickstad, C.J.)

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Concurrence (Vande Walle, J.)

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