Double Transaction (possible fraud)


This is an interesting situation:

I decided to buy minerals in New Mexico from the estate of someone out of state. I hired an attorney and completed the ancillary probate for the seller. I now own the minerals. Everything is good… except:

It turns out the executor of the estate sold some of the minerals to an operator in Eddy county a few months prior to me acquiring them. He never disclosed this transaction to me and the property was included in the transaction and sales contract. The operator that acquired them before me is also the one who has wells on the property. In their mind they effectively own the minerals. The operator never did an ancillary probate however, but they filed the documents of the acquisition with the county.

Based off this information, what can I do? Do I have a legal right to the minerals even though the operator “bought” them but never went through probate to do it? Would I have grounds to stand on if I took them to court?

Has anyone seen a situation like this?


Did the seller agree to warrant title when he deeded you this interest? It is usually listed on the actual deed if he did (or didn’t).

Courtney Landman


The language reads:

“Without warranty of title, but with full substitution of any prior warranties in the chain of title.”


A title search was run prior to closing to discover any prior conveyances. However, third party online sources were used rather than running title at the courthouse. It now appears the online sources data was lagging 1-2 months behind the actual date of recorded documents. The earlier “sale” occurred during that window, which prohibited our discovery of it until after the transaction closed and the third party sources updated their data to show more recent transactions.