Ritter, Laber & Assoc. v. Koch Oil
Ritter, Laber and Associates, Inc.;
Elizabeth Cantarine, Personal
Representative of the Estate of
Eugene A. Burdick; and Russell L.
Kiker, Plaintiffs and Appellants
Koch Oil, Inc., a division of Koch
Industries, Inc., Defendant and Appellee
Southwest Judicial District,
Judge Zane Anderson
|Nature of Action:||Oil, Gas and Minerals|
|Term:||03/2004  Argument: 03/10/2004 1:30pm|
|ND cite:||2004 ND 117|
680 N.W.2d 634
Listen to recording of oral argument in MP3 format
Appellant's Statement of the Issues:|
1. This class action includes owners of royalty and leasehold interests in North Dakota oil wells who agreed Koch Oil Company could remove and purchase oil. Do material questions of law and fact exist on the owners' cause of action for conversion when it is undisputed that Koch possessed more oil than it reported to the owners and that Koch never paid for the excess oil?
The district court held no because title passed to Koch upon removal of the oil.
2. Some owners contracted directly with Koch; other owners leased their interests to a producer, who then contracted directly with Koch. Do material questions of law and fact arise on owners' claim for unjust enrichment because Koch possessed more oil than it reported to the owners, and Koch never paid for the excess oil, but instead retained the full amount received from the subsequent sale of the oil?
The district court held that no unjust enrichment claim arises when there is an express contract between the parties.
3. Did the district court err in granting summary judgment on the owners' request for an accounting based on the dismissal of other claims for conversion and unjust enrichment?
The district court held that without other claims in conversion and unjust enrichment, the class was not entitled to seek an accounting.
4. Did the district court abuse its discretion in denying leave to amend the complaint to include a cause of action for breach of contract where the court did not find Koch was prejudiced, Koch included contract defenses in its answer to the complaint, and the owners previously declined to assert a contract claim because of strategic concerns?
The district court denied leave to amend.
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|1||12/04/2003||NOTICE OF APPEAL: 12/01/2003|
|2||12/04/2003||ORDER FOR TRANSCRIPT: 12/01/2003|
|3||12/04/2003||MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF (sua sponte)|
|4||12/04/2003||ACTION BY CLERK (sua sponte). Granted: 01/10/2004|
|5||12/04/2003||DISK - TRA (7-14-03) (e-filed) (Transcript is part of ROA)|
|6||12/04/2003||DISK - TRA (9-8-03) (e-filed) (transcript is part of ROA)|
|7||12/11/2003||Supplmental Affidavit of Gary J. Gordon (Rule 11.1)|
|8||01/05/2004||RECORD ON APPEAL (13 vols.) & Separates, which include 7 vols. of Transcripts & Video Tape|
|11||01/16/2004||Copies of Judgment filed 10-13-03 for ATA|
|12||01/21/2004||Affidavits of Deborah A. Ellingboe, Charles F. Webber, Jerry W. Snider, & Aaron Van Oort (Rule 11.1|
|13||01/21/2004||Motion for Permission to Appear as Counsel (To allow Aaron Van Oort to appear)|
|14||01/21/2004||ACTION BY CLERK (Mot/to appear). Granted|
|15||01/23/2004||DISK - (e-filed) (corrected ATB)|
|18||02/12/2004||DISK - AEB|
|20||02/25/2004||DISK - RYB|
|21||03/10/2004||APPEARANCES: Ronald H. McLean and Gary J. Gordon; Charles F. Webber and John W. Morrison|
|22||03/10/2004||ARGUED: McLean and Gordon; Webber (Volume Y, Page 215)|
|23||03/10/2004||ORAL ARGUMENT WEBCAST|
|24||06/03/2004||DISPOSITION (and remanded): AFFIRMED/PT, REVERSED/PT|
|25||06/03/2004||UNANIMOUS OPINION: Sandstrom, Dale V.|
|26||06/03/2004||At the direction of the Court no costs will be taxed on this appeal|
|27||06/08/2004||Judgment Mailed to Parties|
|29||07/09/2004||RECEIPT SIGNED BY DISTRICT COURT CLERK'S OFFICE|
|30||05/20/2011||EXPUNGED - Nonpermanent record items destroyed|