Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

J.P. Furlong Enterprises, Inc. v. Sun Exploration and Production Company

North Dakota Supreme Court
423 N.W.2d 130 (N.D. 1988)


Facts

The State of North Dakota (State) owned the beds of navigable waters within the state, including a portion of the Missouri River. The State also owned all oil and gas under the beds. The State passed a statute to ensure that it would retain title to navigable waters. The statute stated essentially that if a waterway changed its course, the State would swap title with the other landowner to retain title to the navigable water. The statutory history indicated that the law was derived from French and Roman civil law, rather than the common law. It was based on the policy of protecting the public’s right to navigate common waterways. In 1957, North Dakota took by eminent domain title to a tract of land that Emery Papineau owned. Papineau retained “all oil and gas rights.” Subsequently, the U.S. Corps of Engineers dug a trench through the tract. The Missouri River filled the trench and started flowing through the tract. This change in course left an oxbow of former Missouri River riverbed. Ladd Petroleum Corporation and Sun Exploration and Production Company (defendants) leased oil and gas rights for the oxbow from the State. J.P Furlong Enterprises, Inc. and Nantasket Petroleum Corporation (plaintiffs) signed a separate oil and gas lease with Papineau’s successor in interest for the same oxbow. The plaintiffs filed a quiet title action based on the North Dakota statute, arguing that they owned the mineral rights under the oxbow and that the State owned the mineral rights under the newly-formed trench through which the Missouri River began flowing. The trial court held that the North Dakota statute did not apply, because the change in the river’s course was manmade. The trial court thus granted the defendants summary judgment. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Meschke, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.