Sorenson v. Felton

20100256 Michael Sorenson, Plaintiff and Appellant
v.
Barbara J. Felton, Defendant and Appellee

Appeal from: District Court, Northwest Judicial District, Mountrail County
Judge William W. McLees
Nature of Action: Real Property
Counsel:
Appellant: Robert Garold Hoy
Appellee: Lawrence Bender
Appellee: Mollie Mae Smith
Term: 01/2011   Argument: 01/03/2011  1:00pm
ND cite: 2011 ND 33
NW cite: 793 N.W.2d 799

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Issues: Appellant's Statement of the Issues:
Did the district court err as a matter of law when it determined the abandoned mineral statute must be strictly construed in favor of a person whose interest is forfeited?
When the abandoned mineral statute allows the notice of lapse to be sent to the mineral interest owner's address of record, can the abandoned mineral interest owner complain about the adequacy of the notice when such notice is sent to the address of record and the abandoned mineral interest owner failed to file a Statement of Claim providing an updated address?

Appellee's Statement of the Issues:
I. The Trial Court Did Not Err In Concluding That Sorenson Was Required to Strictly Comply With the Notice Requirements Set Forth in N.D.C.C.  38-18.1-06 (2005), and the Trial Court Applied the Act in a Manner Consistent With Its Purpose A. Requiring strict compliance with the requirements set forth in the Act is consistent with past precedent B. The trial court construed and applied the Act consistently with its purpose 1. Based upon the plain language and the legislative history of the Act, the purpose of the Act is to allow certainty regarding ownership of unused minerals while simultaneously ensuring adequate protection of mineral owners' rights 2. The Indiana and Michigan dormant mineral statutes are distinguishable, both in their texts and in their purpose, and do not aid in determining the purpose of the Act
II. The Trial Court Did Not Err in Holding That Sorenson Failed to Satisfy the Notice Mailing Requirement Set Forth in N.D.C.C.  38-18.1-06(2) (2005) By Mailing the Notice of Lapse to the Address of Record For Felton A. The trial court's application of the notice mailing requirements set forth in N.D.C.C.  38-18.1-06(2) (2005) is consistent with the plain language of the Act B.Adopting Sorenson's interpretation would lead to absurd results not intended by the Legislature C. None of Sorenson's other arguments in support of his interpretation are persuasive

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Docket entries:
108/04/2010 NOTICE OF APPEAL: 08/02/2010
208/04/2010 Order for Transcript
308/04/2010 Court recorder advised there will be no transcript
408/07/2010 RECORD ON APPEAL
509/08/2010 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF (e-filed)
609/08/2010 ACTION BY CLERK (MAT). Granted: 10/13/2010
710/13/2010 APPELLANT BRIEF, w/attached Addendum (e-filed)
810/13/2010 E-FILED BRIEF (ATB)
910/13/2010 APPELLANT APPENDIX (e-filed)
1010/13/2010 E-FILED APPENDIX (ATA)
1110/14/2010 Received $25 surcharge for ATB (Receipt #20013)
1210/15/2010 Received 7 copies of ATB from CSD
1310/15/2010 Received 6 copies of ATA from CSD
1411/12/2010 APPELLEE BRIEF (electronic)
1511/12/2010 E-FILED BRIEF (AEB)
1611/12/2010 Receipt for $25.00 AEB e-file surcharge. (receipt no. 20054)
1711/16/2010 Rec'd 7 copies of AEB from Central Duplicating.
1811/24/2010 REPLY BRIEF (e-filed)
1911/24/2010 E-FILED BRIEF (RYB)
2011/29/2010 Received 7 copies of RYB from Central Duplicating
2112/13/2010 NOTICE OF ORAL ARGUMENT SENT
2201/03/2011 APPEARANCES: Robert G. Hoy; Mollie M. Smith
2301/03/2011 ARGUED: Robert G. Hoy; Mollie M. Smith
2401/03/2011 ORAL ARGUMENT WEBCAST
2502/08/2011 DISPOSITION: REVERSED AND REMANDED
2602/08/2011 UNANIMOUS OPINION: Crothers, Daniel John
2702/08/2011 COSTS ON APPEAL TAXED IN FAVOR OF APPELLANT.
2802/09/2011 Judgment Sent to Parties
2903/03/2011 MANDATE
3003/07/2011 RECEIPT SIGNED BY DISTRICT COURT CLERK'S OFFICE

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