Gawenis v. Ark. Oil & Gas Comm'n (Majority, with Dissenting)Annotate this Case
Appellant was the owner of gas, oil, and other minerals situated within the Ozark Highlands Unit (OHU). SEECO, Inc. applied to create a drilling unit in the OHU and to integrate all unleased and uncommitted mineral interests within the unit. The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission established the unit and integrated all unleased and uncommitted mineral interests within the unit with the exception of Appellant’s unleaded mineral interests. At a hearing before the Commission to hear evidence related to SEECO’s request to integrate Appellant’s unleaded mineral interests into the drilling unit, Appellant asserted that the Commission’s forced-integration procedures amounted to a taking of his property. The Commission subsequently integrated Appellant’s unleaded mineral interests into the drilling unit. The circuit court affirmed the Commission’s decision. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the forced integration procedures do not amount to an unconstitutional taking; and (2) the Commission’s order did not deprive Appellant of his constitutional right to a jury trial to determine just compensation for his property.