No. M-0821 (1971).
|Case Date:||March 30, 1971|
Texas Attorney General Opinions 1971. No. M-0821 (1971). 3975March 30, 1971Honorable Bill T. SwansonChairmanOil, Gas and Mining CommitteeHouse of RepresentativesAustin, TexasDear Representative Swanson:Opinion No. M-821Re: Constitutionality of H.B. 772, 62nd Leg., R.S., 1971.You have requested the opinion of this office as to the constitutionality of House Bill No. 772, 62nd Legislature, Regular Session, 1971, introduced by Representative E. L. Short of Lynn County, which bill is presently being considered by the Oil, Gas and Mining Committee of which you are Chairman. Pertinent portions of said bill are set out as follows:
"Section 2. A failure of a person other than an owner of the surface to render or pay taxes on his fee estate in minerals for a period of 20 years, or to sell, lease, mortgage, or transfer his fee estate in minerals for a period of 20 years by instrument recorded in the deed records of the county in which the fee estate in minerals is located with the intention of voluntarily and permanently relinquishing all use, claim, or title in the fee estate constitutes an abandonment of the fee estate in the absence of a valid leasehold estate any time during the 20-year period or exploration for or production of minerals during the 20-year period from the land or from land covered by a lease to which the fee estate is subject."
"Section 3. Upon abandonment, a one-half undivided interest in the fee3976 estate in minerals referred to in this Act vests in the state and the remaining one-half undivided interest vests in the owner or owners of the surface estate, with each owner taking the same share and the same type of ownership which he has to the surface estate."
"Section 5. An owner of the surface estate may file a petition for declaratory judgment in the district court of the county in which the fee estate is located, requesting the court to declare the fee estate in minerals abandoned. In an action for declaratory judgment under this Act, citation shall be issued and served in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure."
"Section 6. Evidence of a failure to render or pay taxes on the fee estate in minerals for a period of 20 years and to sell, lease, mortgage, or transfer the fee estate in minerals for a period of 20 years by instrument recorded in the deed records of the county in which the fee...
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