Guerin v. Sunburst Oil & Gas Co.

Citation68 Mont. 365
Case DateOctober 04, 1923
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Montana

68 Mont. 365

GUERIN
v.
SUNBURST OIL & GAS CO.

Supreme Court of Montana.

Oct. 4, 1923.


Appeal from District Court, Cascade County; J. B. Leslie, Judge.

Action by M. M. Guerin against the Sunburst Oil & Gas Company. Judgment for defendant, and plaintiff appeals. Affirmed.


Freeman, Thelen & Frary, of Great Falls, for appellant.

McIntire & Murphy, of Helena, and Norris, Hurd & Rhoades and H. C. Hall, all of Great Falls, for respondent.


HOLLOWAY, J.

For the purpose of these appeals, the facts involved in this controversy may be stated as follows:

In 1921 Mrs. Mary T. Thornton owned 320 acres of land in Toole county. On August 26 of that year she gave to Gordon Campbell a lease upon the land, by the terms of which the lessee was, or his successors and assigns were, authorized to go upon the premises and explore for oil, gas, hydrocarbons, and other minerals, and, if any such minerals were discovered, to extract and market the same, paying to the lessor a specified royalty. The lessee agreed that, within 3 months from the date of the lease, he would commence drilling operations in the northeast part of the Rocky Ridge dome--a territory which embraced the Thornton land--and within 24 months from the date of the lease would commence sinking a well upon the leased premises. That lease was not recorded. On December 8, 1921, Mrs. Thornton gave to James L. Rock an option to purchase her land, but the option was made subject to the Campbell lease. The option was duly recorded on December 9 in the Miscellaneous Record Book of Toole county. In May, 1922, Campbell assigned his lease to L. C. Stevenson, and Stevenson in turn assigned it to the Sunburst Oil & Gas Company. Each of the assignments was duly recorded. On June 6, 1922, Mrs. Thornton conveyed her land to Mrs. M. M. Guerin by warranty deed. In August following the Sunburst Oil & Gas Company went upon the land and commenced to explore for oil and gas, when this action was commenced by Mrs. Guerin to secure an injunction restraining the company from continuing its operations. In its answer to the complaint, the defendant set forth the foregoing matters, and alleged that it was carrying forward its explorations pursuant to the terms of the Campbell lease, and that Mrs. Guerin had purchased the land with notice of the existence of that lease. After a hearing the trial court denied the application for an injunction, and caused a judgment to be entered dismissing the complaint. From that judgment, and from the order denying an injunction, plaintiff appealed.

The ultimate question for determination is: Did plaintiff purchase the Thornton land with notice of the outstanding Campbell lease? As observed heretofore, that lease was not recorded; but section 6938, Revised Codes 1921, provides, “An unrecorded instrument is valid as between the parties and those who have notice thereof,” and that notice may be either actual or constructive. The trial court concluded from the evidence before it that Mrs. Guerin “purchased with constructive notice,” at least, “of the outstanding rights in defendant under said lease,” and it is the correctness of that conclusion which is challenged by counsel for plaintiff. The trial court relied upon the record of the Rock option and the assignments of the Campbell lease, and the immediate question is: Did the record of those instruments, or the record of any of them, impart constructive notice to Mrs. Guerin of the existence and contents of the lease itself?

Section 6934, Revised Codes 1921, provides:

“Every conveyance of real property acknowledged or proved, and certified and recorded as prescribed by law, from the time it is filed with the county clerk for record, is constructive notice of the contents thereof to subsequent purchasers and mortgagees,” etc.

Section 6935 declares that, as between two or more conveyances of the same property by the same person, the first recorded shall have precedence. Section 6936 provides:

“The term ‘conveyance,’ as used in the two preceding sections, embraces every instrument in writing by which any estate or interest in real property is created, aliened, mortgaged, or...

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8 practice notes
  • Detroit Trust Co. v. Detroit City Serv. Co., No. 47
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • March 1, 1933
    ...not only of the existence of an unrecorded mortgage, but also of the provisions contained therein. Guerin v. Sunburst Oil & Gas Co., 68 Mont. 365, 218 P. 949;J. R. Crowe Coal & Mining Co. v. Atkinson, 85 Kan. 357, 116 P. 499, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 1196;McPherson v. Rollins, 107 N. Y. 316, 332,14......
  • Blazer v. Wall, No. 05-386.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • April 29, 2008
    ...parties. See § 70-21-302(1), MCA; Hauseman v. Koski, 259 Mont. 498, 502, 857 P.2d 715, 718 (1993); Guerin v. Sunburst Oil & Gas Co., 68 Mont. 365, 370, 218 P. 949, 951 ¶ 74 But a recorded instrument cannot impart constructive notice that an easement burdens a particular parcel of land for t......
  • Connolly v. Des Moines & Cent. Iowa Ry. Co., No. 48429
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 8, 1955
    ...same land, takes with constructive notice of the option, and cannot claim to be an innocent purchaser.' Guerin v. Sunburst Oil & Gas Co., 68 Mont. 365, 218 P. 949, 951. When the city took its conveyances with full actual knowledge of the recorded option it took them with knowledge that they......
  • Vanuden v. Hendricksen, No. 80-90
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • August 13, 1980
    ...imparted constructive notice of its contents to . . . a subsequent purchaser of the property." Guerin v. Sun Burst Oil and Gas Co. (1923), 68 Mont. 365, 218 P. 949, Plaintiffs' failure to inquire into the record does not excuse them of their obligations here. Constructive notice is imputed ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Detroit Trust Co. v. Detroit City Serv. Co., No. 47
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • March 1, 1933
    ...not only of the existence of an unrecorded mortgage, but also of the provisions contained therein. Guerin v. Sunburst Oil & Gas Co., 68 Mont. 365, 218 P. 949;J. R. Crowe Coal & Mining Co. v. Atkinson, 85 Kan. 357, 116 P. 499, Ann. Cas. 1912D, 1196;McPherson v. Rollins, 107 N. Y. 316, 332,14......
  • Blazer v. Wall, No. 05-386.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • April 29, 2008
    ...parties. See § 70-21-302(1), MCA; Hauseman v. Koski, 259 Mont. 498, 502, 857 P.2d 715, 718 (1993); Guerin v. Sunburst Oil & Gas Co., 68 Mont. 365, 370, 218 P. 949, 951 ¶ 74 But a recorded instrument cannot impart constructive notice that an easement burdens a particular parcel of land for t......
  • Connolly v. Des Moines & Cent. Iowa Ry. Co., No. 48429
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 8, 1955
    ...same land, takes with constructive notice of the option, and cannot claim to be an innocent purchaser.' Guerin v. Sunburst Oil & Gas Co., 68 Mont. 365, 218 P. 949, 951. When the city took its conveyances with full actual knowledge of the recorded option it took them with knowledge that they......
  • Vanuden v. Hendricksen, No. 80-90
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • August 13, 1980
    ...imparted constructive notice of its contents to . . . a subsequent purchaser of the property." Guerin v. Sun Burst Oil and Gas Co. (1923), 68 Mont. 365, 218 P. 949, Plaintiffs' failure to inquire into the record does not excuse them of their obligations here. Constructive notice is imputed ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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