Preferred Energy Properties v. Wyoming State Bd. of Equalization

In Preferred Energy Properties v. Wyoming State Bd. of Equalization, 890 P.2d 1110 (Wyo. 1995), there was a disagreement as to whether appellant held an ownership interest in certain well production. The Department and the Board referred to an applicable farmout agreement to resolve the question. Appellant argued that referring to the farmout agreement was beyond the scope of the Board's authority. The Court's response was to: "hold that an administrative agency, while prohibited from settling or adjudicating rights under a contract, may use a contract as evidence to support its findings or to refute a party's position. See Wyo. Stat. Ann. 16-3-107(c) (1994 Cum. Supp.) (agency can require production of any relevant documents). Of course, the agency's interpretation of the contract will be subject to judicial review if a party claims error. See Wyo. Stat. Ann. 16-3-114 (1990) (providing for judicial review of agency actions)." (Preferred Energy, at 1113.)