Is the letter of the rule against perpetuities (the Rule) more important than its public policy? The Appellants in this case recklessly petition the Court to apply the Rule to a commonly used form of mineral reservation for the first time in the reservation’s nearly 100 years of use. They contend the Rule should apply even though it would cloud or nullify the property interests of countless unrepresented parties, spur a spate of litigation, remove a useful form of mineral ownership from commerce, and disrupt oil and gas development across Kansas—all in contravention of the Rule’s policy of making land more likely to be developed. Kansas courts have long rejected applying the Rule at the expense of its policy. This case does not provide a compelling reason to change course. The Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association (KIOGA) represents the interests of over 1,400 members involved in the development of crude oil and natural gas in Kansas. KIOGA’s members, who include oil and gas producers, attorneys, landmen, and abstractors, have long assumed reservations of defeasible term mineral interests, like those in the present case, are valid under the Rule because they promote the development of oil and gas and create a future interest that parties in commerce regard as immediately vested. For as long as these reservations have existed, parties in Kansas have purchased leases, paid royalties, and probated estates on this assumption. KIOGA urges the Court not to apply the Rule and upend this long-accepted practice. In this brief, KIOGA will describe the commonness of the interests at stake, illustrate some of the practical consequences of applying the Rule to them, and demonstrate the commercial function these interests serve in the development of oil and gas.
Kansas Supreme Court
Joseph A. Schremmer,
Brief for the Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association as Amicus Curiae,
Available at: https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/law_facultyscholarship/751