Texas Supreme Court Sides with Mineral Owners

by Elizabeth Alford on February 3, 2016

The long wait is finally over for the Hyder family, the Texas landowners who has been battling Chesapeake Energy for years.

Related: Chesapeake v. Hyder – Royalty Owner Wins Big

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling to award at least $1 million in royalties, interest and attorney fees to the family. The state high court heard the case in March of 2015.

In 2010, property owners (Hyders) sued Chesapeake for improperly subtracting postproduction costs from their royalty checks for gas taken from their own property. In 2012, state District Judge Melody Wilkinson awarded the family nearly $1 million and the decision was upheld last year by the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio. Chesapeake continued to fight the decision and in June, the Texas Supreme Court sided with the Hyders. Chesapeake immediately appealed.

This high-profile case has lots of people taking sides with many submitting briefs to the court. The Texas Land and Mineral Owners Association, the National Association of Royalty Owners-Texas Inc. and the Chesapeake Barnett Shale Royalty Owners recently filed “amicus curiae”  briefs, publicly siding with the Hyders.

“This is one of a long line of cases in which Chesapeake has sought to profit at the expense of royalty owners.”  – National Association of Royalty Owners-Texas

On the flip side, pro-industry leaders were concerned that the decision in the Hyder case could create chaos in the courts for other royalties cases across the Lone Star State. More than a dozen oil companies and pro-industry organizations banded together to file briefs in favor of rehearing the case.

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