Alleged owner of Jefferson County property seeks right to minerals under surface

By Kelly Holleran | Jul 30, 2014

The alleged owner of a piece of Jefferson County property seeks court orders that he also owns the gas and oil under the land. 

Carlos H. Lemus filed a lawsuit July 21 in the Jefferson County District Court against the estate of Richard Karl Bennett and Lucretia Bennett.

In his complaint, Lemus alleges he bought a five-acre piece of land on Broussard Road for $10,000 on July 20, 2010, and an additional $8,000 on Dec. 31, 2010. He believed he was getting rights to the minerals under the land in addition to the surface, according to the complaint.

After selling Lemus the property, Richard Karl Bennett executed a special warranty deed, which conveyed Lemus the land without the oil, gas and other minerals under it, the suit states.

Richard Karl Bennett died July 2, 2012, the complaint says. His wife is now in charge of his estate.

Lemus is seeking a declaratory judgment that says he owns the surface as well as the mineral rights under it. In the alternative, he seeks a judgment for breach of contract. He also seeks attorney’s fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

He is being represented by attorney Joseph P. Sanders of Beaumont.

Jefferson County District Court case number B195-901

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Jefferson County District Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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