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Court Orders Transfer of Oil & Gas Property Titles

(CN) - Oklahoma's RoDa Drilling has full title to oil and gas properties after the 10th Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction against former partner Palace Operating Co.

RoDa Drilling sued Richard and Bippy Siegal and Palace Operating Co. for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. They allegedly made $1.9 billion in oil and gas investments on RoDa's behalf, but failed to transfer the title for the properties.

After the companies cooperated on the investments with little internal documentation for nearly four years, RoDa decided to pull away from its partnership with Palace in late 2006. Palace refused to turn over the titles, and RoDa sued.

The district court cited four factors in granting RoDa the injunction:

- the likelihood of success on the merits;

- the likelihood that RoDa would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief;

- the fact that the balance of equities tips in RoDa's favor; and

- the fact that the injunction is in the public's interest.

Judge Kelly of the Denver-based federal appeals court affirmed the decision.

"Because the standard for abuse of discretion is high," Kelly wrote, "and we find the magistrate judge clearly set forth its reasoning for granting the injunction, we affirm."

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