Atlantic Richfield Company v. Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation, f/k/a Equity Oil Company, 2014CO16 (March 3, 2014)

“A non-vested property interest is void unless it is certain to vest, if at all, within 21 years after the death of a life in being at the time the interest was created.” Common-law Rule Against Perpetuities (RAP). This case involves a nondonative commercial transaction dating back to 1968, amended in 1983 to include a non-exclusive revocable option. When the plaintiff sought to exercise the option in 2006, defendant claimed the RAP voided the option. The trial court, affirmed by the court of appeals, held that the option was enforceable as reformed under the Statutory RAP (USRAP). The Court affirmed on different grounds, holding that the RAP does not apply in commercial transactions; the rule against unreasonable restraint on alienation does. By holding that the RAP does not apply to revocable options, USRAP reformation was inapplicable. Plaintiff could exercise its option.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2010/10SC688.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=9267&courtid=2

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