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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Devon Energy Production Co. LP and PennzEnergy Exploration and Production LLC (collectively Devon) sued the Hockley County Appraisal District based on the allegation that Hockley district’s appraisal of Devon’s working interest in an oil and gas reservoir was excessive and that it included within its appraisal property outside county boundaries. Because of these purported errors, Devon alleged that the Hockley district’s appraisals over the years were void or otherwise unenforceable. The trial court entered judgment denying Devon relief, and Devon appealed. At issue on appeal were the valuation of minerals by the Hockley district for ad valorem taxation and the trial court’s refusal to award Devon attorney’s fees. HOLDING:Reversed. On appeal, Devon challenges the assessment of the Hockley district because it included property outside Hockley County. The court agrees with Devon’s assertion that an appraisal district may assess for taxation only that property within its district. Indeed, the court states that if 1. a district’s boundaries are co-terminous with those of the county and 2. a district is responsible for assessing property within the district, then its assessment cannot include property outside the county. Therefore, the court reasons, the Hockley district was prohibited from including within its assessment property laying outside Hockley County borders. Yet the court finds that the appraisal methodology utilized to determine the fair market value of the Clearfork reservoir a reservoir encompassed by Devon’s lease, within Hockley County did not comport with this restriction. The court points out that the undisputed evidence showed that 84 percent of the surface acreage had a situs in Hockley County while only 50 percent of the Clearfork reservoir lay within that county. Therefore, the court found that the Hockley district effectively incorporated 34 percent of the formation located in the neighboring county into its assessment, which it had no right to do. Devon next contends that the trial court erred in failing to award it attorney’s fees. The court notes that the trial court did not consider awarding Devon attorney’s fees because it was not a prevailing party. Because that was no longer true, the court remands this topic for reconsideration by the trial court. OPINION:Quinn, C.J.; Quinn, C.J., and Reavis and Campbell, JJ.

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