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BROOKS v. SUPERIOR OIL CO.

April 20, 1951

BROOKS ET AL.
v.
SUPERIOR OIL CO.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Miller, District Judge.

On March 5, 1951, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment together with statement of the reasons and authorities in support of the same.

On March 7, 1951, the plaintiffs filed a motion to remand the case to the Ashley Circuit Court and on March 14 the defendant filed a statement of reasons and citation of authorities in opposition to the motion to remand.

On March 29, 1951, at the hearing on the motion to remand, the plaintiffs asked and were granted permission to withdraw said motion, which was accordingly done.

On April 7 the plaintiffs filed their response to the motion for summary judgment together with statement of the reasons and authorities in opposition to said motion.

In the statement in support of the motion for summary judgment, the defendant states: "It is urged that the basic facts necessary to be considered for the determination of this Motion are so narrowly drawn, and no real issue can be made with respect to those basic and material facts, this presents an ideal situation for the application of procedure of Summary Judgment, as provided in Rule 56 of the Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C.A.]."

In the response to the motion for summary judgment, the plaintiffs state: "There is no particular issue of fact remaining and the pleadings now reflect the facts and it remains only for the court to determine as a matter of law what the final judgment should be."

In the concluding prayer of their response, the plaintiffs pray that the court enter final summary judgment against the defendant in the amount of their original prayer.

The record now before the court reflects the following facts:

On February 12, 1951, the plaintiffs filed their complaint in the Ashley Circuit Court against the defendant and, after stating the citizenship of the plaintiffs and the defendant, alleged that on June 7, 1949, the defendant, being the owner of a certain oil, gas and mineral lease on land situated in Ashley County, Arkansas, entered into a written contract with one Claud R. McSpadden, which contract was later amended on July 15, 1949. The plaintiffs attached to their complaint a copy of the contract of June 7, 1949, and also a copy of the amendment thereto of July 15, 1949.

That pursuant to the agreement between the said Claud R. McSpadden and the defendant, the said McSpadden entered into operations on the leasehold and, during the course of his operations and between October 1, 1949, and December 16, 1949, the plaintiffs furnished the said Claud R. McSpadden materials of the value of $2,576.32 which were used by him in the drilling of an oil well on the leasehold. Later the plaintiffs filed a suit in the Ashley Chancery Court and, on the 18th day of December, 1950, obtained a judgment against the said Claud R. McSpadden for said sum of money, with interest and costs. A copy of the decree of the Ashley Chancery Court is attached to the complaint.

That the plaintiffs had been unable to collect their judgment against the said Claud R. McSpadden and the return of the Sheriff of Ashley County on a special fieri facias disclosed that the defendant had sold and delivered possession of the lease including the producing oil well thereon to another party who is a non-resident of Ashley County, Arkansas, and who had taken possession of the lease and had held it continuously under a claim of ownership and had removed quantities of oil therefrom since September 25, 1950.

That on December 15, 1949, the defendant entered into another written contract with the said Claud R. McSpadden to conditionally sell him certain iron or steel pipe described in the complaint, which pipe was either delivered to the lease or was in Ashley County, Arkansas, for the purpose of being used on the lease, and that the equitable interest of the said Claud R. McSpadden in the lease and in the pipe were subject to the satisfaction of plaintiffs' judgment but that the defendant had converted to its own use the lease and the pipe; that the value of the property converted by the defendant exceeded the amount of plaintiffs' judgment and that the plaintiffs were entitled to a judgment against the defendant for the conversion of said property.

In the motion for summary judgment, the defendant alleges that, under the terms of the agreement between it and McSpadden relative to the oil and gas leasehold estate, the said McSpadden was to have and acquire no right, title or interest in said estate unless and until the said McSpadden fully and completely performed and discharged each and all of the conditions to be performed by him as set forth in said agreement, as evidenced by the writing of June 7, 1949, and as amended by the writing of July 15, 1949.

That the said McSpadden failed to perform all of the conditions set forth in said agreement of June 7, 1949, as amended, and by reason of such failure the said McSpadden on September 25, 1950, had no right, title or interest in the oil and gas leasehold as to which any lien of plaintiffs could attach or from ...


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