FROM THE UNION COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. CV-2012-0149-6]
HONORABLE DAVID F. GUTHRIE, JUDGE
Butler & Phillips, P.A., by: David F. Butler, for
C. Kinslow, for appellee.
F. Virden, Judge.
an appeal of an order for summary judgment in a quiet-title
action. Appellants Barbara Moore and Bruce Moore (the Moores)
purchased certain mineral interests at a tax sale, and
several years after their purchase, they filed a lawsuit
seeking to quiet title to these mineral interests. The
ultimate result of that litigation was an order for summary
judgment in favor of All Saints Anglican Church (All
Saints)-a devisee of one of the previous landowners. Because
we lack a final order, we do not reach the merits of the
Moores' appeal of the order granting summary judgment.
procedural background in this case is somewhat complicated.
This litigation involves two companion cases, CV-2012-0149-6
and CV-2012-335-2. The circuit court ultimately consolidated
these cases into CV-2012-0149-6.
2012, the Moores filed a petition to quiet title against
George W. Warwick, Jr.,  and Robert W. Wakefield; the case was
assigned case number CV-2012-149-6. In this lawsuit, the
Moores alleged that Warwick and Wakefield were the record
title owners of certain mineral interests until 1989 when,
after failing to pay royalty taxes on the mineral interests,
they forfeited them to the state of Arkansas. Thereafter, the
Moores purchased the mineral interests at a tax sale held by
the Arkansas State Land Commissioner. The Moores filed this
lawsuit seeking an order to quiet title to the mineral
December 2012, the Moores filed a similar quiet-title action,
and that case was assigned case number CV-2012-335-02. In
this case, the Moores sued George W. Warwick, Jr., Mildred
Wright Pitts, Beverly W. Diboll, Cora Bryan McRae, E.I.
Newblock, and Lucille J. Rowen McNellie. Again, the Moores
alleged that they were the legal owners of certain mineral
interests based on their purchase of the mineral interests at
a state tax sale.
of these lawsuits, the circuit court entered a default
judgment. After the entry of the default judgments, the
litigation became more difficult. To begin, Atlanta
Exploration Company filed motions to intervene in both cases,
and the circuit court granted its requests. Atlanta
Exploration Company is the operator of wells that produce oil
and gas and pays royalties on their production. Atlanta
Exploration Company intervened to ensure that it had paid the
rightful owners any oil and gas royalties. Another entity,
F&G Investments, also filed a motion to intervene that
was granted. In its complaint in intervention, F&G
Investments alleged that it was an owner of certain mineral
interests. Additionally, All Saints, the sole devisee of
George W. Warwick, Jr., moved to be substituted for Warwick
in both actions; this request was also granted.
the addition and substitution of these parties, Atlanta
Exploration Company filed a motion to set aside the default
judgments in both cases. Notably, the motion does not specify the
parties to which the default judgments should be set aside.
It merely asks that the judgments be set aside. The circuit
court granted the relief sought and set aside the default
judgments. The orders setting aside the default judgments do
not specify which, if any, parties are unaffected by this
the entry of the orders setting aside default judgments,
these cases were consolidated into case number
CV-2012-0149-6, and All Saints filed a motion for summary
judgment. All Saints sought summary judgment based on
Arkansas Code Annotated section 22-6-502(b) (Repl. 2004) and
the theory of adverse possession. All Saints requested that
it be found entitled to any funds held by Atlanta Exploration
Company. The circuit court held a hearing on the motions and
ultimately granted summary judgment in favor of All Saints on
December 2, 2015. In that order, the circuit court found that
All Saints was the rightful owner of all funds related to
royalties on mineral interests that it owned. The order did
not adjudicate the interests owned by other previously named
defendants. The circuit court also held that All Saints'
alternative basis ...