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Scully v. Overall

Kansas Court of Appeals
840 P.2d 1211 (Kan. App. 1992)


Lewis and Judith Scully (plaintiffs) purchased a surface estate from Cleve and Judy Overall (defendants), severing the estate. The Overalls kept title to the mineral estate. Kansas law provided that a mineral interest lapsed if left unused for 20 years, unless the owner files a statement of claim, claiming continued ownership. The law provided that failure to file a statement of claim in the 20-year timeframe “shall not cause a mineral interest to be extinguished if the owner of the mineral interest filed the statement of claim within 60 days after . . . publication of notice.” The Overalls’ mineral interest went unused for 20 years at which time the Scullys published a notice of lapse of mineral interest in the town newspaper and sent a copy of the notice to the Overalls. Two days after receiving the notice, the Overalls filed a statement of claim to the mineral estate with the Register of Deeds. The Scullys brought suit seeking to quiet title to the mineral estate. The Scullys argued that under the statute, the Overalls’ interest lapsed, and the notice that the Scullys filed was purely notice and not an opportunity for the Overalls to reclaim ownership. The trial court granted the Overalls’ motion for judgment on the pleadings. The Scullys appealed. 

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