GLASSELL PRODUCING COMPANY, INC., ET AL.
JUNIUS A. NAQUIN, ET AL.
from the 17th Judicial District Court In and for
the Parish of Lafourche, Louisiana Trial Court Number 126754
Honorable John LeBlanc, III, Judge
A. Cavell Thibodaux, Louisiana Attorney for Appellants
Defendants - Anita Gonzales, et al.
Raymond A. Beyt Aaron D. Beyt Lafayette, Louisiana Attorneys
for Appellees Plaintiffs - Glassell Producing Company, et al.
Falgoust Cassie Rodrigue Braud Thibodaux, Louisiana Attorneys
for Appellee Defendant - Carol Naquin Boudreaux
BEFORE: WELCH, CRAIN, AND HOLDRIDGE, JJ.
defendants/appellants, Shelia Richard Breaux, Angela Richard
White, Ernie Richard, Jr., Travis Richard, Rene J. Durocher,
Leo Durocher, Anita Maxwell Gonzales, and Laurie M. Bergeron,
appeal a trial court judgment granting summary judgment in
favor of the plaintiffs, Glassell Producing Company, Inc.,
Clare Attwell Glassell, widow of Alfred C. Glassell, Jr.,
Alfred C. Glassell, III, as trustee under the last will and
testament of Alfred C. Glassell, Jr., and Woodrow A. Holland
and John M. Robb, as co-trustees of the Alfred C. Glassell,
Jr. Children's Trust for Jean Curry Glassell under the
Last Will and Testament of Alfred C. Glassell,
For reasons that follow, we reverse the judgment of the trial
court and remand the matter for further proceedings.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
instant appeal arises out of a concursus action involving a
dispute over royalty payments due under a mineral lease.
Junius A. Naquin, Carol Naquin Boudreaux, and Dolores Naquin
Richard Durocher, were siblings, and each inherited an
undivided one-third (1/3) interest in their father's
one-sixteenth (1/16) interest in and to the following
That certain tract or parcel of land containing thirty-one
(31) acres, more or less, being situated in the West Half of
the East Half of the Southeast Quarter (W/2 of E/2 of SE/4)
of Section 57, Township 15 South, Range 15 East, Lafourche
Parish, Louisiana, being bounded now or formerly as follows:
North by Dewey Adams, East by the heirs of Joseph A. Adams,
South by Lyric Realty & Parking Company and West by
Joseph V. Roger, et al, and being the same lands acquired by
virtue of that deed dated March 18, 1902, recorded under the
COB 37, Page 694, Records of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana,
executed by Cletus Adam in favor of Garciena Adam Naquin,
wife of Octave Naquin. ("property")
history of the property reveals that in 1947, the
siblings' ancestor-in-title granted a mineral lease
covering the one-sixteenth (1/16) property interest to S.P.
Benckenstein ("1947 lease"). The 1947 lease
provided for a one-eighth (1/8) reserved landowner's
royalty. Production under the 1947 lease commenced shortly
thereafter from the ROB 2 RE SUA; C.J. Caulon No. 6 Well.
1947 lease was in effect when Carol, Junius, and Dolores
inherited their interests in the property. Thus, they each
acquired title to the property subject to the mineral lease
that granted each sibling a one-third (1/3) interest in
one-sixteenth (1/16) of the property subject to a one-eighth
(1/8) royalty under the 1947 lease. Expressed in decimal
form, each party acquired a one-third (1/3) interest in a
.00781255 royalty interest under the 1947 lease.
August and October of 1993, while the 1947 lease was still in
effect, Junius and Dolores each entered into an act of cash
sale ("deed") with Carol wherein each conveyed to
Carol a royalty interest. Both deeds contain identical
descriptions of the object being conveyed, to wit:
ALL OF SELLER'S right, title and interest consisting of
an undivided one third in a .00781255 mineral royalty
interest in and to the following described property
A certain tract or parcel of land containing 26.34
acres, being in the W/2 of the E/2 of Section
57, T 15 S, R 15 E; being bounded as follows: North by land
of Dewey Adams now or formerly, East by Heirs of Joseph Adams
now or formerly, South by Lyric Realty and Parking Company
now or formerly, West by Roger heirs now or formerly,
1947 lease remained in production until 1998; however, in
April of 1998 the holders of the 1947 lease filed a release
and surrender of the lease in the conveyance records. On May
15, 1998, Carol entered into a new mineral lease with Alfred
C. Glassell, Jr. affecting a portion of the subject property
("1998 lease"). Under the terms of the 1998 lease,
Carol received a one-sixth (1/6) royalty interest as part of
the consideration for the lease. Alfred J. Glassell, Jr. did
not seek or obtain a lease from Dolores or Junius. Production
under the 1998 lease commenced in 1999 from the Mire RD SUA;
J.V. Rogers, et al, No. 2 Well, said well remains in
production to date.
February 5, 2015, a petition for concursus was filed by the
then-holder of the 1998 lease, Legacy Trust Company, N.A. and
the operator of the well, Glassell Producing Company, Inc.
(collectively referred to herein as "plaintiffs").
The petition named as defendants: Junius, Carol, and the
heirs of Dolores, who are the appellants herein. The
plaintiffs asserted that the defendants had conflicting
claims to sums accruing from production under the 1998 lease.
The petition asserted that Carol took the position that the
1993 deeds conveyed all of Junius and Dolores' undivided
right, title, and interest in the property. As to Junius and
heirs of Dolores, the petition claimed that they asserted an
undivided two-thirds (2/3) interest in and to the undivided
interest in production, less any mineral royalties that may
have been conveyed by the 1993 deeds. The plaintiffs sought
to deposit the following sums in the court registry pending
resolution of the matter:
[A] 11 sums accruing to the interest in production of oil and
gas from the Subject Lands as claimed by Junius A. Naquin
and...[the] heirs of Dolores Naquin Richard Durocher, which
have now accrued, less the cost of drilling, completing and
operating the...unit well, and those net sums which will
accrue from time to time in the future...
February of 2015, the defendants deposited $397, 059.29 into
the court registry.
answered the plaintiffs' petition and asserted that
Junius and Dolores intended to sell and did sell all of their
mineral royalty interest in the property by virtue of the
October 1993 deeds and, further, that the "reference to
a '.00781255' mineral royalty interest was merely a
typographical error" made by the notary who drafted the
deeds between her and her siblings.
April 27, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a motion to limit the
time to file an answer under La. C.C.P. art. 4657. On May 6,
2015, the trial court ordered all defendants to file an
answer ten days from publication of notice of the order. The
heirs of Dolores timely filed their answer; however, Junius
failed to file his answer within the delays set forth by the
trial court. Following a contradictory hearing, the trial
court issued a judgment dated October 26, 2015, setting aside
and striking the answer of Junius and finding ...