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Roye Realty & Dev., Inc. v. Watson

Court of Appeals of Oklahoma, Division Three

April 3, 1990, Filed

No. 72,174

Opinion

 [**822]  MEMORANDUM OPINION

 [*P1]  Appellants Rollin D. and Dorothy Ellen Watson (Appellants or Watsons) seek review of the Trial Court's orders granting temporary injunction to Appellee Roye Realty and Developing, Inc. (Appellee or Roye) and denying Watsons' post-hearing motion for a stay of the injunction. Watsons, as Lessors, executed an oil and gas lease to Roye, as Lessee, covering certain lands located in Haskell County. The primary term of the lease extended from June 16, 1982 to June 16, 1983, and Roye drilled and initially completed a gas well apparently capable of production in paying quantities within the primary term. Roye tendered shut-in royalties to the Watsons from and after June, 1984.

 [*P2]  In late 1988, Roye attempted to construct a pipeline across Watsons' property, as permitted by the lease. Watsons objected to the pipeline construction across  [***2]  their property, and Roye filed a Petition in District Court alleging Watsons had refused Roye his rights of ingress and egress for the purpose of laying pipeline. In his suit, Roye sought an order enjoining Watsons from interfering with construction of the pipeline. Watsons denied Roye's right to injunctive relief, and filed counter-claims against Roye, demanding, inter alia, an accounting of shut-in royalties, cancellation of the leases for failure to pay shut-in royalties, and damages for trespass.

 [*P3]  On November 30, 1988, the Trial Court granted a temporary injunction as requested by Roye, and denied Watsons' oral motion  [**823]  for a fourteen day stay thereof. Watsons now attack the judgment of the Trial Court under four propositions of error: (1) error of the Trial Court in according an overbroad construction to the lease-granted right of Roye to lay pipeline, (2) error in according the lease any effect, the lease having expired for Roye's failure to pay shut-in royalties, (3) error of the Trial Court in accepting evidence of an expired gas purchase contract between Roye and a third party gas purchaser, and covering gas produced from the Watsons' lease, and (4) insufficiency of Roye's  [***3]  evidence of entitlement to injunctive relief.

 [*P4]  ] In Oklahoma, in consideration of applications for temporary injunctions, four criteria are considered; (1) applicant's likelihood of success on the merits, (2) irreparable harm to the party seeking relief if injunctive relief is denied, (3) relative effect on the other interested parties, and (4) public policy concerns arising out of the issuance of injunctive relief. As to the first consideration, it has been noted:

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1990 OK CIV APP 21 *; 791 P.2d 821 **; 1990 Okla. Civ. App. LEXIS 17 ***; 109 Oil & Gas Rep. 324

ROYE REALTY & DEVELOPING, INC., an Oklahoma Corporation, Appellee, v. Rollin D. WATSON, a/k/a R.D. Watson, and Dorothy Ellen Watson, husband and wife, Appellants

Prior History:  [***1]  Appeal from the District Court of Haskell County, Oklahoma; Honorable Louis E. Striegel, Judge.

CORE TERMS

lease, pipeline, royalty, lessee, shut-in, Oil, temporary injunction, surface, primary term, reasonably necessary, injunctive relief, expiration, mineral, merits, oil and gas lease, damages

Civil Procedure, Injunctions, Grounds for Injunctions, General Overview, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Remedies, Preliminary & Temporary Injunctions, Standards of Review, Substantial Evidence, Judgments, Relief From Judgments, Independent Actions, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Lease Agreements, Energy & Utilities Law, Discovery, Exploration & Recovery, Federal Oil & Gas Leases, Extensions & Terminations, Leases & Licenses, Extensions & Terminations, Lease Cancellation, Forfeiture Clauses, Royalty Clauses, Shut In Royalty Clauses, Oil, Gas & Mineral Interests, Royalties, Leasehold Royalty Clauses, Surface Damage, Mining Industry, Mineral Leases, Surface Use Interests, Appeals, Abuse of Discretion, Admissibility, Procedural Matters, Rulings on Evidence