Federal magistrate orders Roan Resources to cough up documents
A magistrate in Tulsa federal court has ordered Roan Resources, a firm that was acquired by Citizen Energy III in 2019 to turn over documents in a lawsuit that it underpaid royalties and oil and gas proceeds from its wells.
Magistrate Judge Jodie F. Jayne issued the ruling in a lawsuit brought against Roan Resources LLC by Hay Creek Royalties LLC. The suit was filed in 2019 and in it, Hay Creek contended Roan intentionally underpaid and made late payments on the royalties it owned and allegedly used “improper accounting methods.”
Hay Creek is seeking a class action lawsuit and needs documents from Roan in order to proceed.
In her recent decision, Judge Jayne overruled Roan’s arguments that discovery requests would require extensive searches of the company’s electronically stored information and emails. The judge said the files could show more details about Roan’s royalty payment practices on a class-wide basis.
“Further, search of electronic databases for relevant internal communications or documents is not merely a fishing expedition,” wrote the judge.
“The Court finds this request to be relevant to class certification, because it may show whether Roan had a company-wide policy regarding payment of interest on late payments,” she added.
Her ruling applies to analyses, presentations, financial projections, emails, meeting minutes and Roan communications about untimely payments.
Source: U.S. District Court Tulsa