Search Tips

Twin City Technical, et al. v. Williams Cty, et al.

Docket No. 20210157
Oral Argument: Thursday, December 2, 2021 9:30 AM

Docket Info

Title
Twin City Technical LLC, Three Horns Energy, LLC,
Prairie of the South LLC, and Irish Oil & Gas, Inc., Plaintiffs and Appellees
v.
Williams County and Williams County Commission, Defendants and Appellants
Case Type
CIVIL APPEAL : OIL, GAS AND MINERALS
Appeal From
Case No. 2015-CV-01394
Northwest Judicial District, Williams County
Benjamen James Johnson
Oral Argument 12/2/2021

Parties' Statement of Issues

  • Appellant

    1. Whether the District Court erred when it found in favor of Lessees regarding their claim of unjust enrichment.
    2. Whether the District Court erred in its award of pre-judgment interest.
    3. Whether the District Court erred in granting Lessees’ motion to compel.
    4. Whether the District Court erred in its award of attorney’s fees and costs.
    5. Whether the District Court erred in denying the County’s request for a jury trial and ordering a bench trial.

  • Appellee 1

    a. Whether the Court’s mandate in Twin City Technical, LLC v. Williams County, 2019 ND 128, 927 N.W.2d 467, limited the scope of remand to
    Defendants-Appellants Williams County and Williams County Commission’s (collectively, “County”) affirmative defense of laches.
    b. Whether the District Court correctly ruled against the County on its affirmative defense of laches.
    c. Whether the District Court correctly ruled against the County on its affirmative defenses of waiver and unclean hands.
    d. Whether the County is precluded from relitigating the Companies’ unjust enrichment claim.
    e. Whether the District Court properly awarded the Companies prejudgment interest starting September 30, 2015.
    f. Whether the District Court properly ordered the case be reset for a bench trial.
    g. Whether the District Court properly granted the Companies’ motion to compel and awarded the Companies their attorneys’ fees.


Summary

Williams County and Williams County Commission (collectively, “County”) appeal from a judgment in favor of Twin City Technical LLC, Three Horns Energy, LLC, Prairie of the South LLC, and Irish Oil & Gas Inc. (collectively, “Plaintiffs”).

In 2012, the parties executed a series of oil and gas leases. The County received over $1.3 million in bonus payments for the leases. After learning the County may not own all of the subject minerals, the Plaintiffs sued the County. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs, concluding the County violated statutory advertising requirements, the County was unjustly enriched, and the County’s affirmative defense of laches failed. The County appealed. The Court affirmed the part of the district court’s judgment holding the leases invalid for violating the advertising requirements, reversed the laches ruling, and remanded to the district court for further proceedings.

On remand, the Plaintiffs moved to reset the trial to a bench trial. The district court granted the motion. The court also granted the Plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery, and awarded them expenses and attorney’s fees. After the trial, the court denied the County’s defenses of waiver, unclean hands, and laches; entered judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs; and awarded prejudgment interest.

On appeal, the County argues the district court erred in finding in favor of the Plaintiffs regarding their claim of unjust enrichment, in its award of prejudgment interest, in granting the motion to compel, in its award of costs and attorney’s fees, and in ordering a bench trial.


Briefs

Filing Date Description
09/13/2021 APPELLANT BRIEF View
10/13/2021 APPELLEE BRIEF View
10/27/2021 REPLY BRIEF View

Counsel

Party Type Name
APPELLANT SPEC. ASST. STATE'S ATTY. Scott Kenneth Porsborg - 04904
APPELLEE PRIVATE PRACTICE Lawrence Bender - 03908
APPELLEE PRIVATE PRACTICE Spencer Douglas Ptacek - 08295
APPELLEE PRIVATE PRACTICE Mark William Vyvyan - 07957
APPELLANT SPEC. ASST. STATE'S ATTY. Austin Theodore Lafferty - 07833

(Note: Attachments may not be available for recently filed cases and/or confidential documents.)

Seq. # Filing Date Description Attachment
1 06/01/2021 NOTICE OF APPEAL : 06/01/2021
2 06/01/2021 ORDER FOR TRANSCRIPT : 06/04/2021
3 06/04/2021 Received $125 filing fee
4 06/04/2021 NOT. OF FILING NOT. OF APPEAL AND PROOF OF SERV.
5 06/04/2021 Notice served on Scott K. Porsborg, Austin T. Lafferty, Lawrence Bender, & Spencer D. Ptacek
6 06/29/2021 ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED JUNE 28, 2021 (ENTRY NOS. 1-354)
7 07/15/2021 ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPT DATED JANUARY 11, 2021
8 08/13/2021 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF
9 08/13/2021 ACTION BY CLERK - Granted : 09/13/2021
10 09/13/2021 APPELLANT BRIEF View
11 09/13/2021 APPELLANT APPENDIX
12 09/13/2021 Oral Argument Request by Appellant
13 09/15/2021 Rec'd 4 copies of ATB & 3 copies of ATA from CSD
14 10/13/2021 APPELLEE BRIEF View
15 10/13/2021 APPELLEE APPENDIX
16 10/15/2021 Rec'd 4 copies of AEB & 3 copies of AEA from CSD
17 10/18/2021 Rec'd $47 e-filing surcharge for AEA (Receipt #28259)
18 10/27/2021 REPLY BRIEF View
19 10/29/2021 Rec'd copies of RYB from Central Duplicating
20 11/24/2021 NOTICE OF ORAL ARGUMENT SENT
21 11/24/2021 Intent to Particpate in Oral Argument by Appellee
22 12/02/2021 APPEARANCES: Scott K. Porsborg & Austin T. Lafferty/Lawrence Bender & Mark W. Vyvyan
23 12/02/2021 ARGUED: Scott K. Porsborg & Mark W. Vyvyan
24 12/02/2021 ORAL ARGUMENT WEBCAST