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FREE DOWNLOAD -- Beinlich v. Chief Oil & Gas May Serve as Bellwether Suit

Dave and Karen Beinlich commenced an action on March 14, 2011, in the Court of Common Pleas for Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, asserting causes of action against Chief Oil & Gas LLC and others relating to the Beinlichs' oil and gas lease. The Beinlichs claim, in essence, that the developer acted in bad faith in attempting to hold the Beinlichs' lease past its primary term by including the Beinlichs' land in a drilling unit with 19 other tracts of land near the expiration of the lease. The complaint alleges that the operator staked out an access road and parked a bulldozer on one of the Beinlichs' neighbors' parcels 31 hours before the lease expired. According to the complaint, Chief did not actually begin clearing land for the access road until three days after the lease's expiration. Chief removed the action to federal court on March 28, 2011. The case may be a bellwether as leases signed in the pre-Marcellus boom period begin to reach the expiration of their primary terms and lessees move to extend their leases into a secondary term.

Please click here to read or download the complaint.

Other documents filed in the action, including Notice of Removal, Answer, Motion to Dismiss Request for Fees, Motion to Strike Request for Fees, Briefs in Support of Motions, and Orders, can be retrieved from CourtLink.