Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.


Supreme Court of Oklahoma

February 25, 1958

No. 37716


 [**411]  BLACKBIRD, Justice.

 [*P1]  Plaintiffs in error, hereinafter referred to as plaintiffs, are the owners of a 40-acre tract of land in the Witcher area of Oklahoma County. In 1953, they executed and delivered to J. W. Dutton an oil and gas lease on said tract for a term of one year from October 31st, 1953. Duttom thereafter assigned the lease to the partnership of Horn, Robinson and Nathan, reserving to himself, as overriding royalty, 1/8th of the 7/8ths lessees' interest therein. Thereafter, he assigned a part of this reserved interest to S. L. Marshall; and Horn, Robinson and Nathan assigned to Ray Burgin a part of their working interest. All of the aforenamed owners of the working, or normal lessee's interest, will hereinafter be collectively referred to as defendants. They completed a gas well on the leased land on or about May 1, 1954, but no gas from said well has even been marketed or sold.

 [*P2]  On October 24,  [***3]  1955, plaintiffs commenced this action against the defendants to quiet their title to the property (including pipe and other well equipment defendants had installed thereon) against all claims of the defendants. Their position that defendants no longer had any right, title or interest in and to said property was predicated on the theory, both that defendants had abandoned the leasehold after completing the well in May, 1954, and that the lease had expired by its own terms on account of defendants' failure to produce gas from the leased land by October 31, 1954, the end of the lease's one-year term.

 [*P3]   [**412]   The defendant, Dutton, filed a disclaimer, representing that he had transferred all his right, title and interest in the property to the defendant, Burgin. The defendants Burgin and Marshall filed a joint answer; and the partnership of Horn, Robinson and Nathan filed a similar one. No useful purpose would be served by describing in detail the allegations of these answers, but, generally, and in partial substance, they set forth facts inferring both that plaintiffs had acquiesced in defendants' attempts to find a purchaser for the gas well's production and that, after gas [***4]  in paying quantities was found in the well, defendants had a reasonable time, under the lease, within which to market it; and that within such period they found a purchaser therefor, but that plaintiffs barred them from going upon the leased premises to do the work necessary to connecting the well with the prospective purchaser's pipe line.

Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.

1958 OK 49 *; 322 P.2d 410 **; 1958 Okla. LEXIS 337 ***; 71 A.L.R.2d 1211; 8 Oil & Gas Rep. 951

John McVICKER, Sue DeVore McVicker, W. C. Berry, Robert E. Baker and John T. Gibson, Plaintiffs in Error, v. HORN, ROBINSON and NATHAN, a copartnership of Ed Horn, Robert Robinson and Samuel Nathan; J. W. Dutton, S. L. Marshall and Ray Burgin, Defendants in Error

Prior History:  [***1]  Appeal from the District Court of Oklahoma County; A. P. Van Meter Judge.

Action by plaintiff owners of lessors share of the minerals under a 40-acre tract leased to defendants for oil and gas exploration purposes, to quiet their title to the leased premises. After judgment for defendants, plaintiffs appeal. Affirmed.


lease, oil, lessee, marketing, defendants', termination, terms, primary term, cubic feet, purchaser, covenant, premises, leased premises, provisions, installed, diligent, rentals

Energy & Utilities Law, Oil & Petroleum Products, Gasoline Fuels, Gasoline Dealers & Distributors, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Lease Agreements, General Overview, Leases & Licenses, Assignment, Release & Surrender, Real Property Law, Landlord & Tenant, Lease Provisions, Oil, Gas & Mineral Interests, Implied Covenants, Administration & Marketing, Implied Duties