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USAIsAUcountry t1_jcznewo wrote

I'm just happy to see that "the powers that be" didn't manage to completely fuck the landowner out of a payday, despite what appears to have been a lengthy and genuine effort at doing exactly that. The fuck's wrong with people...


codyt321 t1_jczs0ol wrote

Did we read the same thing? The other party in the suit were the former landowners who still had the mineral rights. Not a company and not the state trying to claim ownership.

Just kind of seems like a normal court case. Complicated and nuanced the more you look into it.


USAIsAUcountry t1_jczszlo wrote

That's why I used the quotation marks. I just couldn't find a better term for it and was too lazy to figure it out. I just meant that anyone with a sliver of power to make a claim suddenly crawling out of the woodworks to do some Avatar levels of Lawbending. Vultures would perhaps have been a better term for it.


codyt321 t1_jcztb1m wrote

You're telling me you wouldn't? If you had the rights to what was in the ground, and what they dug up out of the ground was worth millions of dollars. You would just walk away?


USAIsAUcountry t1_jczzat0 wrote

I would explore what is intended to fall under the mineral rights, yes. If I discovered I had a legitimate claim then yes, I would go to court. What I wouldn't do is go to court several times over 5 years after being shut down arguing over semantics to try squeeze myself in there.


RequiemForSM t1_jd0113t wrote

In fairness they had a pretty solid claim. Surprised they weren’t at least awarded something.


USAIsAUcountry t1_jd045pp wrote

If there was no established criteria for what is considered a mineral under the mineral rights other than a loose definition of the word then I guess that's not the fault of the claimant. Perhaps I judged them too harshly.


RamboGoesMeow t1_jd08i0g wrote

I mean, fossils are just minerals in the shape of ancient bones. Unless they had rights to specific minerals/metals, it would only seem fair that they have a claim to part, if not all, of it IMO. Still, this was an awesome find regardless.


USAIsAUcountry t1_jd0gc77 wrote

A line should be drawn somewhere, or not at all. Seems senseless to have it open to interpretation. Should it just be anything containing a mineral regardless of the origin then? We can argue that a lot of things are minerals that we wouldn't normally consider minerals, gravel, ice, snail shells or whatever you want really.

Perhaps it would be better if it was just mining rights that apply to anything of significant value that is unearthed from the ground. That's what people are out after anyway.


its_not_you_its_ye t1_jd0i0wt wrote

> A line should be drawn somewhere, or not at all.

Hard to disagree; I think these are the only options.


USAIsAUcountry t1_jd0ksyo wrote

There's also a third option where you try to adhere to a definition but lack a consensus and then end up in a 5 year dispute trying to establish whether a fossil is a mineral or not.


codyt321 t1_jd0dy1e wrote

So you're saying if you thought you had a good case, so good that you thought it was worth going to court, and then you lost then you would forgo your right to appeal?


USAIsAUcountry t1_jd0m0s0 wrote

I don't know what I would do anymore. The more I read about mineral rights and what is and isn't a mineral both technically and basically the muddier it gets. At this point I'm not sure if I even understand what a mineral is anymore or if everything is just arbitrarily a mineral depending on how cold it is outside that day.

I don't think I would have fortitude to even bother to be honest.


odaeyss t1_jd0qgld wrote

Mineral rights are dumb. Just another dumb rule for calvinball we've invented to make everyone's lives more difficult.


AnarkittenSurprise t1_jd3dj3h wrote

Fossils are objectively minerals though. This wasn't an unreasonable lawsuit at all.


USAIsAUcountry t1_jd3lmzr wrote

They are, but they have also once been a living creature and are still retaining the structure of the living form. It's not what is ordinarily considered a mineral in this context and they are not valued according to their mineral contents or being sold for their mineral contents which is what the mineral rights are meant to protect.

I have since that comment changed my opinion that they were wrong in pursuing this as relentlessly as they did. So I agree that it wasn't unreasonable. It's just not as straight forward as considering it just a mineral. It's a unique grey area.


Dragmire800 t1_jd2athq wrote

Imo the state should be able to seize things of significant historical value and only pay out for the loss of projected income over losing access to the land during the dig, as well as any restorative costs.