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courts. Boesche v. Udall, D.C. Cir., No. 16238, November 16, 1961 (decision reinstated en banc June 15, 1962). See also J. Penrod Toles, 68 I.D. 285, 288 (1961).
The existence or nonexistence of an agency relationship between Gonsales and the person who prepared and filed his offer or Gonsales' entitlement to a lease in response to the filing of his offer, New Mexico 042700, was not at issue or determined in the New Mexico lawsuit. The court found only that the plaintiff, Lyons, was not entitled to any relief against Gonsales and his son because of misconduct of Gonsales or his son in the filing of oil and gas lease offer New Mexico 042700 and that Lyons had come into court with unclean hands. The court did not consider whether the son acted as Gonsales' agent or whether he met the requirements of the Department's regulations in preparing and filing the offer.
There remains the final point that Quintana was not Gonsales' agent. The pertinent regulation provided:
(e) Each offer, when first filed, shall be accompanied by:
(4) If the offer is signed by an attorney in fact or agent, or if any attorney in fact or agent has been authorized to act on behalf of the offeror with respect to the offer or lease, separate statements over the signatures of the attorney in fact or agent and the offeror stating whether or not there is any agreement or understanding between them, or with any other person, either verbal or written by which the attorney in factor agent or such other person has received, or is to receive, any interest in the lease when issued * * (43 CFR 192.42.)
The appellant does not deny that he did not file the required statement, but insists that there was no necessity for so doing.
After a careful review of the records in both appeals, I have concluded that the record amply supports the Director's holding that Quintana was authorized to act as an agent for his father in filing offer New Mexico 042700.
The details of the relationship between Quintana and Gonsales are set out in depositions taken from them on July 22, 1958, in connection with the litigation referred to above. Quintana testified that he is Gonsales' son, that he is a petroleum geologist, that he does geological work for his father, that he receives a substantial amount of money from his father for his work, that he files applications mostly for his father but sometimes for himself and sometimes for his mother, and that he checks the records in the land office daily. Gonsales testified that he generally signs offers after they are prepared, but that he sometimes does sign offers in blank, that he gives his son signed checks made out to the Bureau of Land Management with amount left blank, that December 28, 1962 his son has authority to fill in the amount, that if he were out of town on the day the application was filled out it could have been signed in blank, that his son had authority to file an application “blind” for the land covered by the lease "anytime anything comes up." Gonsales could not recall whether he had signed New Mexico 042700 in blank, but Quintana stated that his father had signed the application in his presence.
In another case decided today involving a comparable situation it was held that a person who selects the land to be applied for, fills in the land description on a signed oil and gas lease offer, and files the offer is the agent of the offeror. Eugenia Bate, 69 I.D. 230 (A-28519).
Since Quintana performed or was authorized to perform the same functions as the person held to be an agent in the Bate case, it is my conclusion that he was properly held to be an agent within the meaning of the pertinent regulation. Thus he was obligated to file the required statement with the offer and, in its absence, the offer earned no priority until it was filed. Eugenia Bate, supra.
It follows that Gonsales' offer had not earned priority over the junior offer filed by Southern California Petroleum Corporation et al. The Department is under a mandatory duty to issue to them, as the first qualified applicant to file for land available for leasing, a lease for the lands in conflict, if a lease is to be issued to anyone. J. Penrod Toles, supra. A noncompetitive lease issued erroneously to a senior applicant after a proper junior application offer has been filed must be canceled. Boesche v. Udall, supra; J. Penrod Toles, supra.
In A-28887 is appears that Gonsales' offer, New Mexico 070510, was filed at 10:00 a.m. on August 18, 1959, and that Western Oil Field's conflicting offer, New Mexico 070521, was filed at 10:03 a.m. the same day. A lease was issued to Gonsales effective February 1, 1960.
The Acting Appeals Officer found that Western had submitted no substantial probative evidence that the same business operating arrangement between Gonsales and Quintana that the Director had found existed for New Mexico 042700, filed some 18 months earlier, pertained to New Mexico 070510 and that the evidence showed no more than an accommodation filing by one person for another. He also held that there was no requirement that an oil and gas lease be filed no later than 10 days after it was signed. The manager rejected Western's offer and the Acting Appeals Officer affirmed his action. Western appeals on the ground that Gonsales' offer earned no priority because it was filed more than 10 days after and in fact more than 4 months after it was signed and because Quintana, who witnessed the offer, was an agent of Gonsales and thus there should have been filed the statement required by the regulation.
Western contends that the agency relationship was established prior to the filing of New Mexico 070510, that it was a general agency in connection with filing lease offers, and that the facts show that the agency existed after filing. In support of the latter contention, it points out that Quintana signed as "agent” in requesting an examination of the case record of New Mexico 070510 on December 14, 1959. It also has submitted a copy of a letter to it dated September 26, 1959, signed by Quintana offering the acreage covered by New Mexico 070510 at $100 per acre plus a 5 percent overriding royalty.
The regulation requires a statement in all cases in which an agent has been authorized to act on behalf of the offeror with respect to the offer or lease, whether or not the agent has an interest in the offer. We have found that Quintana was an agent for Gonsales as to New Mexico 042700. The testimony given by them in their depositions established not only an agency relationship for that offer, but an agency relationship which had existed for sometime in the past and which was still subsisting, at least, on July 22, 1958, the date of the depositions. Gonsales has offered no evidence that the nature of his arrangements with Quintana was in any way modified. That it was not is borne out by the fact that in December 1959, Quintana signed a request to examine the case record in New Mexico 070510 as "agent" and, even more strikingly, that in September of that year, a little over a month after the offer was filed, Quintana signed the proposal to sell the offer to Western.
It is my conclusion that Quintana was an agent of Gonsales, that Gonsales signed offers and checks in blank, that Quintana was authorized to complete the offers and checks and file them when he deemed it opportune, and that Quintana had authority to act with respect to New Mexico 070510, both before and after it was filed. Accordingly, he was an agent within the purport of the regulation and the statement required in such circumstances had to be filed before the offer could earn priority. Thus, the reasons given for holding New Mexico 042700 for cancellation are equally pertinent here. It follows that New Mexico 070510 is to be canceled and a lease issued on New Mexico 070521, all else being regular.
Therefore, pursuant to the authority delegated to the Solicitor by the Secretary of the Interior (sec. 210.2.2A (4) (a), Departmental Manual; 24 F.R. 1348), the Acting Director's decision of September 22, 1960, is affirmed, and the Acting Appeals Officer's decision of March 14, 1961, is reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings consistent herewith.
EDWARD W. FISHER,
Note.-See the front of this volume for tables.
tively valuable for oil and gas need not be published in the
Federal Register Act_
acts or suffer cancellation of his entry need not be published
under the provisions of section 5(a) of the Federal Register Act.
under a license permitting use of the Federal range was made
description on a previously signed oil and gas lease offer, and files
regulation, 43 CFR 192.42(e) (4)----
written agreement under which he is empowered to act as an
ment of interest to be filed where an agent or attorney in fact
filing of the offer -
an offer filed by one acting as an agent for the offeror without an
CFR 192.42(e) (4), is properly held for cancellation---
men on or claimants of lands which are determined to be prospec-
will not be prejudiced thereby ---
land covered by a homestead entry or application was found to
of the land.---
of the principles of the earlier surface homestead acts which did
not apply to Alaska ---
1961, lands in a homestead entry in Kenai Peninsula, Alaska,
subject to patenting under the act of September 14, 1960----
of subsection 6(a) of the Alaska Statehood Act is properly