ND Can't Ditch Landowners' Suit Over Mineral Rights

Law360, New York (July 17, 2012, 2:38 PM EDT) -- A North Dakota judge on Monday refused to dismiss a proposed class action accusing the state of reaping a multimillion-dollar windfall by unlawfully leasing landowners’ mineral rights to oil and gas companies.

Judge David W. Nelson of the Northwest Judicial District Court signaled the case would turn on the single question of who controls mineral rights between the high and low water marks of the Missouri River.

“All of the [landowners’] other claims are dependent upon resolution of this underlying question,” Judge Nelson said.

The lawsuit...
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