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Judicial Review of Federal/Indian/State Royalty and Collection Decisions

Robert J. Kapelke, Royalty Valuation and Management (1988)

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the procedural aspects of judicial review of royalty valuation decisions and to offer some practical litigation strategy suggestions. Since there is, of course, no discrete body of law peculiar to review of royalty rulings, most of the discussion will focus on general principles of judicial review of agency actions and decisions under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706, and to a much lesser extent its state statutory counterparts. Wherever possible, however, citations are included to those royalty valuation cases which illustrate relevant judicial review concepts.

To a tremendous extent, the efficacy of the judicial review will depend on the groundwork which has been laid at the agency level. For this reason, the paper on administrative appeals is required reading. The failure to raise issues at the administrative level can prove fatal to the court proceeding. Similarly, a flimsy effort to introduce fact and expert evidence and proffer technical data during the proceedings within the Department of Interior or state agency can result in a very one-sided administrative record.

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In short, the moment the challenged payment order or notice of other agency action is received, the potential of ultimate judicial review must be considered and the necessary factual and leg