Last month the Land Board backed down from the hardline position Smith took, noting that they’d still continue with collection efforts, but approving a friendlier timeline for repayment efforts.
Yet Ness was absolutely right when he argued that the legal dispute over these royalties is not over yet, and the Land Board really has no business trying to collect these royalties at all.
At least not yet.
In a recent hearing in the case, District Court Judge Robin Schmidt told the attorneys for the state and Newfield that the state Supreme Court’s decision “does not resolve Newfield’s defenses.”
“We still have issues to resolve,” Schmidt said.