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In re Hansen

Supreme Court of North Dakota
458 N.W.2d 264 (1990)


Albert and Dianna Hansen (Hansen) owned the surface and mineral rights to a tract of land, subject to a mortgage held by the Bank of North Dakota (BND). Subsequently, the Hansens obtained a second mortgage in favor of the State Bank of Towner (SBT). The SBT mortgage was on the surface of the land; it did not include the minerals. The Hansens defaulted on the mortgages, and Albert passed away. BND commenced foreclosure proceedings. SBT requested that the court martial the parties’ interests so that the mineral estate would be sold first to protect SBT’s interest. BND objected, requesting that the minerals and surface be sold together. Dianna Hansen also objected, requesting that the surface estate be sold first, and that each estate be sold in seven parcels in a particular sequence. The trial court found in favor of SBT, and directed the mineral estate to be sold first, in seven parcels. The mineral estate was sold for an amount sufficient to satisfy the foreclosure judgment. As a result, BND did not appeal. However, Hansen appealed, arguing that the surface estate should have been sold before the mineral estate in accordance with her right to designate the sequence of sales.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Meschke, J.)

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