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Bastian v. Sullivan

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

May 22, 2015

EVELYN H. BASTIAN, Appellee
v.
MARILYN Y. SULLIVAN, RUSSELL W. REES, AND PAUL F. REES, Appellants

Argued January 28, 2015

Page 339

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 340

Appeal from the Order Entered May 21, 2014 of the Court of Common Pleas, Potter County, Civil Division, No(s): 190 cv 2013. Before MINOR, J.

Michael R. Plummer, Galeton, for appellants.

William A. Hebe, Wellsboro, for appellee.

BEFORE: BOWES, OLSON, and STRASSBURGER,[*] JJ.

OPINION

Page 341

 STRASSBURGER, J.

Marilyn Y. Sullivan, Russell W. Rees, and Paul F. Rees (Appellants) appeal from the order entered on May 21, 2014, which granted summary judgment in favor of Evelyn H. Bastian (Bastian) and against them.[1] We affirm.

This case involves oil, gas, and mineral rights (OGMs) for the subsurface estates of several parcels of property located in Potter County, Pennsylvania. The following facts are uncontested.

In 1921, Henry Wolz acquired three parcels of real estate in Potter County. In 1951, after the death of his wife, Henry Wolz conveyed these three parcels to Birdella R. Haskins. On July 20, 1951, Haskins conveyed these three parcels to Henry Wolz, Carlton H. Wolz, and Eva Wolz Hunt as joint tenants with the right of survivorship (JTWROS). After the death of Henry Wolz, 39.5 acres of this land were conveyed by Carlton H. Wolz and Eva Wolz Hunt, and each of their spouses, to Joseph W. Sykora. That deed contained the following language with respect to subsurface estate: " EXCEPTING AND RESERVING, nevertheless, all of the oil, gas and minerals in, on or under said property together with the necessary and convenient rights of entry and re-entry for the purposes of recovering the same." Deed from Carlton Wolz and Eva Wolz Hunt to Sykora, 7/29/1954.

On May 14, 1955, Eva Wolz Hunt and her husband conveyed three parcels of land, approximately 12 acres, to Carlton Wolz and his wife. That deed contained the following language with respect to the subsurface estate:

EXCEPTING AND RESERVING, nevertheless, to Eva Wolz Hunt and Carlton Wolz all of the oil, gas and minerals in, on or under said property together with the necessary and convenient rights of entry and re-entry for the purposes of recovering the same. This deed is made under the Uniform Interparty Act for the purpose of creating a tenancy by the entireties in the above described parcels of land in the grantees.

Deed, 5/14/1955.

On March 26, 1955, Carlton Wolz and Eva Wolz Hunt, along with their spouses, conveyed 25.3 acres of the original Henry Wolz property to Theodore Menken and Clara Menken. That deed contained the following language with respect to the subsurface estate:

EXCEPTING AND RESERVING, nevertheless, from the above described property all of the oil, gas and minerals in, on or under said property together with all storage rights and such rights of

Page 342

entry and re-entry as may be necessary and convenient for carrying out the terms of the excepting reservation.
Any surface damage caused by the development of the above exception and reservation shall be paid to the ...

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