Enerplus Resources (USA) Corp. v. Wilkinson, 011420 FED8, 17-3708
|Opinion Judge:||PER CURIAM.|
|Party Name:||Enerplus Resources (USA) Corporation, a Delaware corporation Plaintiff- Appellee v. Wilbur D. Wilkinson Defendant-Appellant Three Affiliated Tribes, Fort Berthold District Court Defendant Reed Soderstrom, agent for Wilber D. Wilkinson Defendant-Appellant Ervin J. Lee, an individual Defendant|
|Judge Panel:||Before SMITH, Chief Judge, GRUENDER and BENTON, Circuit Judges.|
|Case Date:||January 14, 2020|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit|
Submitted: October 15, 2019
Appeal from United States District Court for the District of North Dakota - Bismarck
Before SMITH, Chief Judge, GRUENDER and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
Enerplus Resources (USA) Corporation ("Enerplus") brought suit to recover approximately $2.9 million in overpayments to Wilbur D. Wilkinson. The overpayments stemmed from an overriding royalty interest paid in connection with a settlement agreement between, among others, Wilkinson and Peak North Dakota, LLC ("Peak North"). Peak North subsequently merged into Enerplus. The district court1 awarded summary judgment in favor of Enerplus, holding that it was entitled to a return of the overpayment. The court also awarded Enerplus its costs and fees under a contractual fee-shifting provision. Wilkinson appeals. We affirm.
Wilkinson sued Peak North in tribal court. Subsequently, on October 4, 2010, Peak North and Wilkinson entered into a "Settlement Agreement, Full Mutual Release, Waiver of Claims and Covenant Not to Sue" ("Settlement Agreement"), 3 whereby Peak North agreed to assign Wilkinson an overriding royalty interest (ORRI) in certain oil and gas leases located in North Dakota.
Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, Peak North and Wilkinson agreed that "any disputes arising under this Agreement and/or the transactions contemplated herein shall be resolved in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota Northwest Division and such court shall have exclusive jurisdiction hereunder and no party shall have the right to contest such jurisdiction or venue." The Assigning Documents contained similar clauses, stating that all disputes "shall be resolved in the State Courts of the State of North Dakota or an applicable Federal District Court sitting in North Dakota and such courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction hereunder and neither [party] shall have the right to contest jurisdiction or venue."
In December 2010, Peak North merged with and into Enerplus, with Enerplus being the surviving entity. Because of an alleged clerical error between August 2014 and October 2015, Enerplus claims it overpaid the ORRI...
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