Dylan O'Reilly and Luke Salganek Won an Appeal at the New Mexico Supreme Court
The case involved ownership of mineral interests under Navajo Lake which were the subject of a 1948 quiet title judgment, and which our clients acquired in the 1950s. Over time the mineral rights were developed and paying to various owners, including our clients. A new party saw the opportunity to swoop in, acquire the original owners’ interests, and claim the now-profitable mineral rights by challenging the adequacy of the 1948 legal notice.
The district court found for our clients and the New Mexico Supreme Court agreed, holding that the 1948 service was in compliance with due process requirements and the rules of civil procedure which utilized then-appropriate methods and efforts to locate the landowners, the original owners had failed to diligently protect their own property interests, and that New Mexico courts must protect the finality of court judgments because real estate ownership depends on them.
The case is T.H. McElvain Oil & Gas, et al., vs. Benson-Montin-Greer Drilling Corp., et al., 2016-NMSC-__ (No. 34993, Oct. 20, 2016).
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