Kendall et al v. EQT AMD LLC et al
ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that EQT shall file a motion to stay proceedings, and an accompanying brief in support, by 6/6/2023. The Plaintiffs shall file a brief in opposition by 6/20/2023. To the extent Defendants International Development Corpora tion and SWN Production Company, LLC wish to be heard on the matter, they shall file their respective briefs by 6/20/2023. No brief with the Court should exceed 25 pages in length. (See Order for further details) Signed by Chief Judge Matthew W. Brann on 05/18/2023. (ea)
Case 4:21-cv-01491-MWB Document 49 Filed 05/18/23 Page 1 of 3
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CHARLES RICE KENDALL and
ANN P. HOCHBERG, as Trustees for
The Thomas E. Procter Heirs Trust,
(Chief Judge Brann)
EQT AMD LLC, EQT ARO LLC,
CORP., and SWN PRODUCTION
MAY 18, 2023
Nineteen months ago, Defendants EQT AMD LLC and EQT ARO LLC
filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint. That motion has been ripe for over a yearand-a-half, but it remains on the docket unaddressed—stuck in a holding pattern
because of two pending related actions (one federal, one state) that are more
procedurally advanced and that involve the same state law issues in question here.
The extended abeyance, however, is not the result of any formal court order.
Instead, this Court has effectively imposed an informal stay pending some
guidance from either the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit or
the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on the related actions. The wisdom of that
approach seemed plain enough when the Court adopted it. But that was a year ago.
Case 4:21-cv-01491-MWB Document 49 Filed 05/18/23 Page 2 of 3
And today, the outstanding motion to dismiss is no closer to resolution than it was
then. Accordingly, more formal instruction from this Court is required.
During a telephonic status conference held yesterday, counsel for all parties
endorsed an order staying proceedings, but they differed on what the parameters of
that order should be. This case concerns the ownership of subsurface mineral rights
on 44 tracts of land in Pennsylvania’s Lycoming and Sullivan Counties, but the
motion to dismiss filed by EQT1 pertains to only a subset of those tracts—the
thirteen so-called “Unassessed Properties.” According to Plaintiffs’ counsel, the
questions of state law presented in EQT’s motion—and at issue in the related
actions—are relevant to only the thirteen Unassessed Properties, and, as such, any
stay issued by this Court should be limited to those tracts; the case should proceed
as to the remaining 31 tracts at issue. Conversely, counsel for EQT contends that
that the state law issues raised in its motion affect all (or nearly all) of the 44 tracts,
and that a ruling by the Third Circuit or Pennsylvania Supreme Court on those
issues could dictate the global resolution of this case. As such, EQT supports
staying the case in full.
For purposes of this Order, the Court refers to Defendants EQT AMD LLC and EQT ARO
LLC collectively as “EQT.”
Case 4:21-cv-01491-MWB Document 49 Filed 05/18/23 Page 3 of 3
Resolving this dispute will require fulsome briefing. Accordingly, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that:
EQT shall file a motion to stay proceedings, and an accompanying
brief in support, by June 6, 2023;
The Plaintiffs shall file a brief in opposition by June 20, 2023;
To the extent Defendants International Development Corporation
and SWN Production Company, LLC wish to be heard on the
matter, they shall file their respective briefs by June 20, 2023; and
No brief with the Court should exceed twenty-five (25) pages in
BY THE COURT:
s/ Matthew W. Brann
Matthew W. Brann
Chief United States District Judge
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