Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Milagro Exploration, LLC v. Ralston

Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg

March 2, 2017

MILAGRO EXPLORATION, LLC, Appellant,
v.
GLENN A. RALSTON AND DOROTHY RALSTON, Appellees.

         On appeal from the 24th District Court of Goliad County, Texas.

          Before Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Benavides and Hinojosa

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          GINA M. BENAVIDES, Justice

         By one issue, appellant Milagro Exploration, LLC ("Milagro") challenges the sufficiency of evidence supporting the trial court's judgment rendered in favor of appellees Glenn A. Ralston and Dorothy Ralston (collectively "Ralston" unless otherwise noted). We reverse and render in part and remand in part.

         I. Background

         On November 8, 2006, Milagro[1] entered into a Surface Facility Site Agreement and Easement ("the agreement") with Ralston, which granted Milagro surface rights to one acre of a more than 350-acre tract of land located in Goliad County owned by Ralston ("the property"). The agreement allowed Milagro to operate an amine plant on the property, which was described as pieces of equipment that help prepare natural gas for sales and puts the gas into a marketable condition. The agreement called for a five-year term, and it allowed for renewal for two additional five-year terms. Additionally, the agreement stated that if the agreement was terminated, Milagro would be "required to remove any equipment from the site within six (6) months and restore the site to a condition as near as possible as it existed before [Milagro's] initial operation on the land."

         William Anderson, Milagro's director of land, testified that near the end of 2011, Ralston called him to inquire whether Ralston could build a new fence around the perimeter of the amine plant. Anderson stated that at the time of Ralston's phone call, he was unaware that Milagro's agreement with Ralston had expired, but eventually realized that it had expired. Anderson admitted the agreement had a six-month grace period following its termination for Milagro to remove its equipment from Ralston's land. The parties attempted to renegotiate a new agreement but failed. On March 5, 2012, however, Ralston's attorney sent Milagro correspondence which warned the company that if any of its employees entered Ralston's property, they would face criminal trespass charges. However, Milagro stipulated that despite this letter, it continued to operate the amine plant "up until approximately June of 2012 at which time it was shut down and [Milagro] . . . continued to run gas through the plant." Milagro further stipulated that Ralston "let Milagro come back on the property at various times to look and to remove equipment." Ralston estimated the amine plant's value at $400, 000.00.

         On September 14, 2012, Milagro sued Ralston on causes of action for breach of contract and unlawful lockout. [2] Additionally, Milagro pled for declaratory relief and temporary restraining order. Specifically, Milagro sought the following relief:

(1) A declaration that [the agreement] is a valid agreement;
(2) Damages for [Ralston's] breach of the agreement when [Ralston] refused to allow [Milagro] on the premises to recover [Milagro's] equipment within the six (6) month period contemplated by the agreement;
(3) A writ of reentry entitling [Milagro] to immediate and temporary possession of the premises to recover its equipment from the premises;
(4) A temporary restraining order restraining [Ralston], their agents, servants, and employees from tampering with, selling, or otherwise disposing of the equipment until a hearing can be conducted;
(5) Order an evidentiary hearing [to] be set for the issuance of the temporary injunction;
(6) [Milagro's] reasonable and necessary attorney's fees in prosecuting its claims through trial and, if ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.