Abstracts of Oklahoma, Inc. v. Payne County Title Co – Case Brief Summary (Oklahoma)

In Abstracts of Oklahoma, Inc. v. Payne County Title Co., 1992 OK 13, 825 P.2d 1334, the State Auditor had granted the applicant a permit, and a competitor sought to revoke it. The State Auditor found that due to a 1894 courthouse fire, Payne County's offices did not contain all the entries for, or copies of, all documents and instruments affecting real property.

The State Auditor then concluded that while he would not revoke the existing permit, he would not renew it nor would he grant a certificate of authority until the county's records were complete.

The trial court set aside the State Auditor's decision, and the Supreme Court affirmed on the grounds that the State Auditor's decision was premature.

The Court noted that as long as applicants comply with the law, "they are entitled to continue compiling an abstract plant pursuant to a permit which has not expired or been revoked. When such compilation is completed, they may apply for a certificate of authority." Id.

The Court concluded:

Although we do not at this time determine whether the missing records are grounds for refusing issuance of a certificate of authority, we hold that they are not grounds to refuse renewal of a permit to compile an abstract plant until the applicant applies for such renewal. Id.