Standing Room Only in Tyler County WV Courthouse

by Duane Nichols on January 27, 2013

Standing Up in Tyler County, WV

From the Article by Pam Kasey, State Journal, January 25, 2013 

What can stop a natural gas boom? Probably not much. But limited space in the records room is slowing things down in Tyler County.

“People running title for oil and gas leasing companies are lining up as early as 2 a.m. to get a spot in the courthouse,” a resident wrote in a news tip to WBOY. “I know people who have gotten in line at 4 a.m. and there are 50-60 people in front of them. It’s absolutely crazy, especially with the (temperatures) we are having this week.”

County Commission President John Stender describes this situation:

“We have a limited number of spaces in our vault room. I think the fire marshal limits us to 16 spaces, and we leave two open for local attorneys and people in the county who need to do business where the records are,” Stender said.

“What’s happening is these companies have signed leases, and they’re trying to verify title so they can pay out the money to hold the leases,” he said. “I think they have 120 days to do that after signing, so the crunch is on.”

The county clerk has people sign up by the hour, but that still leaves room for other kinds of elbow-jostling.

“Some of these people are showing up and putting chairs out there, and one person last night put a can of fruit, saving spots so they can get in in the mornings,” Stender said.

“Subcontractors have advertised for people to stand in line for their people. I heard it was $15 an hour to stand in line — I’m thinking of going down there!” he joked.

The representatives of the bigger oil and gas companies work respectfully and, in at least one company’s case, tend to be locals, Stender said, but “a minority” of the employees of the subcontractors — “well, some of them aren’t very nice. They’re pushy.”

Stender emphasized the county’s understanding that the activity ultimately is in the best interests of the mineral owners and others in the county, and that it wants to make things work.

“All the people coming in to work at the courthouse eat at the restaurants, they buy gas. It’s a win for the taxpayers and the ones that get the contracts and the companies, and we want to help them,” he said. “We’re more than happy to work with anybody, if they’ll meet us and work with us.” He expects to have a solution in place within the month.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan January 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I do the initial oil and gas title work for my own company and am responsible for getting these titles ready for attorney certification. I’ve had a horrible time getting into the Tyler County Record Room.

My suggestion to the Tyler County Commission isn’t longer courthouse hours, it’s getting these records online which would help with the congestion in the record room and the wear and tear on these records not to mention the loss of records from the books by persons who remove these records and do not replace them. These records are very valuable not just for oil and gas purposes but for property owners and the public use as well.

Countless times I have taken my time to repair pages torn or ready to fall out of the books not just in Tyler County but in any county I work in. Again these records are valuable. Harrison County along with a few other local counties have great online sites which, as long as you have an account, you can print from your own printer.

From the fees charged for the copies that have been made in the the Tyler County Clerks Office from the onslot of this “oil and gas boom”, which started what 3 years ago, you should have cleared enough funds to do this. Where is this money going because I have seen none if little improvements in the books, records or the rooms in which they are kept. Again, get these records online, then: Wah-lah, problem solved.


Pauline M. Tabor December 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Records online would be great, I could research from my home here in TN. My ancestors were from Tyler County, WV, my Mom born in Conaway, Tyler County, WV
Interested in leasing Mineral rights to my grandfather Sargent Nolan’s former property.


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