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Franks Petroleum, Inc. v. Babineaux

446 So. 2d 862 (1984)

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Franks Petroleum, Inc. v. Babineaux

Louisiana Court of Appeal

446 So. 2d 862 (1984)

Facts

C.C. Colvin and his brother John Colvin acquired property as co-owners in 1874. At some point, John sold his interest in the property to C.C., but the deed was lost and never recorded. Beginning in approximately 1900, C.C. and his heirs had been in full and complete possession of the property, where they lived, farmed, marked boundaries, and sold timber, gravel, and sand. In 1937 and 1938, John’s widow and all of John’s heirs except one of their children signed quitclaim deeds to C.C.’s heirs, acknowledging John’s sale of his interest in the property to C.C. In 1937, a judgment of possession was rendered in succession proceedings for C.C. and his wife, in which their heirs were recognized as the owners of the whole interest in the property. In 1950, the two children of John’s one child who had not signed a quitclaim deed were specifically told by C.C.’s heirs that C.C.’s heirs owned the property outright and that, as John’s grandchildren, they did not own any interest in the property. Franks Petroleum, Inc. (plaintiff) had gas leases on the property and deposited royalties from those leases with the court for a determination of who was entitled to the royalties. The court identified C.C.’s heirs as the Group A defendants (defendants), and John’s two grandchildren as the Group B defendants (defendants). The court held that C.C.’s heirs were the full owners of the property, having acquired full ownership by acquisitive prescription. John’s grandchildren appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hall, J.)

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