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Grynberg v. City of Northglenn

Colorado Supreme Court
739 P.2d 230 (Colo. 1987)


Facts

The State of Colorado (State) owned a severed mineral estate. The severed surface estate was independently owned by a private corporation. The State issued a coal lease for the mineral estate to Jack Grynberg (plaintiff). The lease was never recorded. The City of Northglenn (City) (defendant) wished to conduct geophysical exploration on the property. The City sought and obtained permission from the surface estate owner to conduct such operations. The City did not seek permission from the State to conduct its operations. The City was unaware of Grynberg’s coal lease, and thus did not seek his permission to conduct its operations. The City hired a contractor (defendant) and drilling began on the property. Grynberg brought suit against the City, the contractor, and the drilling company. The trial court found that Grynberg’s coal lease was ineffective as to the defendants and granted the defendants summary judgment under the recording act. The court of appeals affirmed. Grynberg appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lohr, J.)

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