John H. McFarland and Jason Beesinger notched a significant appellate win for firm clients Ridgefield Permian, LLC and the Griffiths Trust.
The El Paso Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s summary judgment order vesting title in certain mineral interests in the appellees Diamondback and Magnolia. Ridgefield Permian, LLC v. Diamondback E & P LLC, No. 08-19-00156-CV, 2021 Tex. App. LEXIS 3462 (Tex. App.—El Paso May 5, 2021). Diamondback and Magnolia claimed their interest through a tax foreclosure sale foreclosing a tax lien on the royalty interests as described by reference to certain leases. Diamondback and Magnolia contended, however, that they obtained not only the royalty interest described by the leases but the entirety of the mineral interest, and they argued that the passage of time – almost two decades since the tax sale – meant that any challenge was time-barred. The El Paso Court of Appeals disagreed, noting that an inquiry into the scope of a conveyance instrument, like the tax deed, is never time barred. And the court concluded that the language limiting the grant to the described royalty interests controlled what interest was conveyed. The court not only reversed the summary judgment, it rendered judgment that Ridgefield and the other appellants had good title to the mineral interests and awarded appeals costs.